Data Breach – Poetry by Darrelle Spenceley

Data Breach

First Place in the Letter Review Prize for Poetry

New Poetry by Darrelle Spenceley

14th, April

You ask for proof of my identity

demand a driver’s license

or passport – not more than 3 years expired

      I reach into my bag

      pull out a pair of vintage Doc Martens

      in a floral meadow print – size 7

maybe a birth certificate or

      a tea towel covered in Christmas cats

a marriage certificate – if applicable

      followed by a nineteenth century French fashion doll

      wearing her original clothes

      stained and mostly faded

coupled with a mobile phone number

something that no one can exist without

      the map of the first subdivision of Sandringham

      taken from my living room wall

and a Medicare card

      plus a dented ‘No Stopping’ sign and

or a utility bill and bank account number –

all of these are valid forms of identification

      the placentas of my children

      still cool from the freezer

      and the pacemaker that once sat inside my husband.

Darrelle Spenceley is a Melbourne-based writer. She was a finalist in the 2023 Joanne Burns Microlit Award and was published in Lockdown, an anthology by the Melbourne Writer’s Group in 2020, and in Poetry d’Amour. She is currently working on her first poetry collection and drinking too much tea. 

Original Artwork by Kita Das