Where new writing finds its voice

Pigs Can’t Look Up

Emily Berry

Well, bébé,       it’s slim pickings here,       just me and Lorenzo Pig
contemplating stuff like       the new swimming pool  
       and the girls in the flat opposite       who are always 
in dressing gowns       on their balcony smoking       and we wonder why

Lorenzo can’t swim, of course    or see out of windows
       but he is,               as you know, a splendid companion
With his footstool soul       and heart of solid newspaper,
he is just exactly like a person        Lovely, Italian leather Lorenzo

              Sometimes, because of my vegan friend       I think about 
the cow that must have died to give life to Lorenzo
an unusual kind of life,       to our foot-high, selectively mute, inflexible 
pig-shaped companion      but it’s so hard      to regret Lorenzo now

he is so innocent,       ginger and loveable;       he’s lightweight enough 
       to stand on a man’s chest       or be carried home up the long road
past the surplus office furniture store       and the butcher’s with the sign saying
       ‘Pork! Try it, it’s really tasty!’       or to sit patiently on the living room rug,

taking everything in with his tiny,        sewn-on eyes                    Last night
              the TV seemed to break but I didn’t mind         I thought of you 
on your island with the electricity pipe under the sea and your inner resources
I gave Lorenzo a good squeeze    mmm    and rubbed his nose       he likes that