Two Tankas and a Haibun – Courtenay S. Gray

metro (tanka)
aggrieved and unhinged
is my state of mind when I
take that gold padlock
on the Paris metro to
infiltrate their quartz landscape

archie (haibun)
I exist between two worlds, the innocent and the damned. in the age of innocence, I stir my
tea with a sugar cube spoon, taking myself to bed with raspberry sleeping medicine. I drink
apple sours in the age of the damned, and I use my lover’s credit card to shift the coke into a
neat line.
take me out for a
drive-in movie where you tell
me all about her
this in-between state feels like being underwater. the land of the damned is where I belong.
surrounding myself with older men is how it always should have been. instead of sitting in a
canteen with a tub of cheap pasta, I should have been walking through the financial district
looking for prey.
pull out my box of
my magenta tipped matches
and burn your heart whole

exit, baby (tanka)
unwrap me from your
bed sheets because I will scream
that you are hurting
the both of us, knowing that
we cannot escape this place

Author Bio: Courtenay S. Gray is a writer from the North of England. She has been featured in publications such as Maudlin House, Daily Drunk Mag and Red Fez. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2020). Courtenay was a runner up for the 2021 Literary Lancashire Award in Poetry. She also has a poetry collection (Strawberry) out with Alien Buddha Press. Twitter: @courtenaywrites / Blog:

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