The Fall by Jo Brandon



Jo Brandon is based in West Yorkshire. Her pamphlet Phobia and full-length collection, The Learned Goose, are both published by Valley Press. Her next collection, Cures, is due out in 2020. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, including The North, Magma, Popshot, Strix, Butchers Dog and The Fenland Reed. You can find her at  

The Learned Goose is available to buy from  Valley Press.























The Fall 


After ‘The Fall’, Hugo van de Goes, 1479





He was happy with my form

till he happened across yours.

Like any child the impulse is to play

not make; your limbs it seems

are more pliable and your hearts

more intricate.

So the fact that I could wind myself

into circles that inspired the sun,

tie myself into copulative knots,

make language in the sand,

meant nothing but more possibilities for you.

We lived together a good while – you wished

your tongue could read the air like mine,

I wished my eyes could talk.


We grew further apart.

Your hisses became syllabic,

you whispered to one another.

Tried to meet you in the middle:

hid in bushes growing legs

that lent no length, couldn’t bring me

any closer to your ear.

My face craved reflection,

stung with unread frowns and smiles.


I wish, I wish it were as simple

as a piece of fruit.

Truthfully, there was no taboo

hanging  from that tree –

it was just where we played,

but your ideas grew quicker than trees

and you imagined fruits

that would never grow here


and they still won’t grow here

just as I don’t grow and everything

without you stays the same.



Jo Brandon


Previously published in The Learned Goose by Jo Brandon (Valley Press, 2015)