First Cut by Joe Williams

Swathed in slate and ivory,
newly bound by gold,
they drive in the knife as one.

Beneath the blade,
the snow white surface cracks,
crumbs scatter.

The carved up parts are handed out 
to sisters, cousins, college friends,
wrapped in paper bandages, 
saved for another day.


Joe Williams is a writer and performing poet from Leeds. His latest book is ‘This is Virus’, a sequence of erasure poems made from Boris Johnson’s letter to the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic. His verse novella 'An Otley Run', was shortlisted for Best Novella at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. More information can be found at:


  1. Ah, different from Joe’s usual style. Quite a new take on the wedding cake cutting ceremony. I think it must be a Game of Thrones wedding. Good fun.


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