Sarah Griff

This one is called Vest

 Look, there’s this vest with lace straps on Urban It’s not anything special, a basic if anything, black, the usual, wear it with anything kind-of-thing. But get this, there’s a gap in the back of it. Like almost all of my back would be uncovered, but for two thick straps of lace down each side. You could see the tender little rolls of pale fat like the tires of a girl-child’s bicycle, the occasional protruding shoulder blade, the nub of my spine at the top and some days when the wind is just the right shade of wrong I begin to bloom – few fingers of bone pulling their way out my back, out my body, out into the world. They extend like the branches of a clumsy tree, they are capillaries and lightning bolts, crooked veins of bone until the feathers erupt, grey and speckled and white, like a time laps video of a flower waking up. I will rise in new flight above the traffic, above the hills and my flight will be terror – teenagers will clutch their camera-phones and the footage will be grainy, like footage always is of horrors, of miracles.


 Sarah Griff writes essays, poems, and other things. She is co-editor of Bare Hands International Poetry Journal. Her work can be found in The Irish Times,’s Human Parts editorial and The Rumpus amongst many others. Her first collection of poetry, Follies, was published by Lapwing in 2011 and her emigration memoir, Not Lost, was published by New Island Press in November 2013. She is usually covered in cat hair. She likes video games from the 1990s and complicated female protagonists. She tweets @griffski and blogs at