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Barbarian Feet

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

A poem inspired by Zach Cregger’s Barbarian, 2022.


By Bonnie Price


he sets his feet heavily onto the faux maroon leather. whilst we feast our eyes upon the big screen he gorges on a never-ending bag of corn.

we each find delight in our own ways.


by day, we live in chromes of pale blue and yellow;

come nighttime we follow our urges to peel ourselves from stale slumber

and creep down the stairs.

an abundance of dusty possessions greet you and so, the mischief begins.


it is time to look into the mirror and assert your body to the mission.

now as you know, it is such a delicate cause.

tuck your shoes away and thank your lucky stars.


the starkness of the passage both startles and soothes.

a faint cry plays on an old VCR until it is muted through a brief gesture of suckling. peace is momentarily restored.

your feet take you further through the darkness. you are transfixed, unable to stop.

there is a dull ache in your gut but you choose to ignore it.


skinning your way through the tantalising haze, you realise you are not alone. embarrassment and fear flood your insides.

for who else could find pleasure in such a barbaric place?


it is time to suckle the teat of the Barbarian’s feet.

swallow your thinning pride and get stuck in. be careful not to upset her.

remember it’s okay to use a little bit of teeth.


you must see, there’s an uncanny likeness between yourself and her.

the semblance can be found in the way she walks.

she carries a desire for more but we’re unsure of what.

her feet are burning and

we find the child ablaze with blood dripping from his veins.


she has misplaced maternal intimacy with destruction.

and all we can do is think of ourselves.

but peace for her is here

and all we can do is start little fires everywhere

but peace for her is here

perhaps fleeting but here

in her

strangely

splintered

heart.


Photograph courtesy of Sarasjuntorn Angkinun

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