Commune Enemy No. 1 and other poems by Carson Wolfe

ladybug, asian ladybug, insect-3508203.jpg


My newly assigned caravan welcomes me
with hotel chocolates on the pillow, which,
on closer inspection, are droppings of rat shit.
It’s beautiful, I gasp.
The abandoned wasp nests, vintage décor.
The mud puddle outside, my private pool.
I’d give it five stars on Yelp. This is luxury
next to the shithole I just crawled out from.
I spruce our new home with prayer flags
and nag-champa, ready for kiddo’s playdate
with three siblings named after moth species.
They all watch Peppa Pig while I ponder
which Instagram filter makes this life choice
look intentional. I spread their wholegrain toast 
with cold pressed coconut oil, since dairy-free
butter lowers the vibration here. For pudding,
they have a bowl of raw cashews, unsalted.
Serenity, their mother, photobombs my selfie
asking where her moth babies are. Watching
Peppa Pig, I say. Peppa Pig? … Yeah, Peppa P—
she grabs my flower of life necklace, drags me
to the firepit and beats me with sage to cleanse
the indoctrination of mainstream television.


the doors were
french, a façade of
council estate
elegance, framed in
cheap plastic,
breakable as a
promise. the doors
locked with a metal
key so pliable it
could bend into a
wedding ring, shut
me behind glass
panels, a mummy
mouse, a baby
mouse, and a
python, till death do
us part. the doors
were doors walked
into, in a story

about a woman
who walks into doors.
the doors were
cast in a netflix
horror film, and I
was the Final Girl.
the doors were
lifted like lids to a
coffin I refused to
lie in, botched
back onto hinges
by a father who
would not
acknowledge what
his son had done.
And all was swept
under the
doormat with my
name on.


Language barriers
won’t stop the mother who ran
from Romania.
She hand gestures her
story. Her young son watchful 
from her lap, aware,
as she grips her neck, 
pretending to choke. I nod, 
my hands in reply
move to my own neck.
My daughter covers her eyes,
we all understand.

Carson Wolfe (they/them) is a Mancunian poet. They recently won the Debut Northern Writers’ Award for Poetry from New Writing North. Their work has appeared in Rattle, Fourteen Poems, Button Poetry, and The Penn Review. Carson lives in Manchester with their wife and three children. You can find them at

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