Chine

Clay pooled at the base of the cliff:

we sank in our arms, smooth as a kiss.

We made figures, sky surrounding us

as an oyster holds a pearl,

the chine a lunar landscape

offering abrasions like gifts.

Clay aged fast, cracked,

snapped hair from my arms

and crumbled –

sky shone blue and still.

We made figures on the cliff

looking and leaning together,

walked the shore, bent our backs

as water lifted to greet us,

gathered the clay

soft once more, tender salt

stinging and cleansing

water meets grit –

sky glistening now like wet clay,

sand slightly burning my bare feet.

Wasp

A sweet in my mouth

it landed on my lips

I held myself still

for the dangerous kiss

Tangerine

A rose dies dramatically

clutching a bloody thorn.

I’ll give a tangerine, split skinless flesh

soft as a mouse’s ear,

just a tangerine.

Early morning, seeing the city snow

lies hard and bruised,

I’ll cross the ice in plastic shoes –

before leaving, eat a tangerine,

small room

expanding with breath

into cold outside

as the heart

divides and divides.

© Rebecca Varley–Winter 2015

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