You put a different swerve on the ball. So we
flashed red-lipped to the thermosphere
streaming our big hearts. Among
the jazz nights, saxophone tongues,
hissed beats – how could I not
You – swerved me – you
wrapped up beat engulfed me, turned
my skin to silver and set my eyes alight,
legs jangling firewood in your arms.
Oh you peeled me wet, so yours –
glistening metal sticks with the scattered beats.
Like your name, a swerve,
spelt strangely, pushing a boat from a cove
so it rocks, dangerously. You are not fixed
to the ground like the others but hover
somewhere above, a haze of filings collecting
my eyes, my stomach, my knees…
But we stretched, overswerved. I fainted
at the sky’s rim where we drank
barrels of jazz, where I was sick.
We cannot live like this. We massaged
the heels of heaven, and it hurt like hell.
No, I won’t see you again.
The blue sky
is a round wet mouth.
On a bench,
we form the words as truly
as children form handwriting.
You tell me about your parents,
sketch your future on my hand.
The castle ruins are stiff,
each brown stone unshifted.
We lean on its walls
overlooking a car-park construction site,
the new grass short, damp. You try
to say my hair is burning gold. I snuggle
The day’s colours
make me love your face more.
I love its line, your blue eyes
such exact Venetian glass.
Your wafer body
like silk slipping through me,
slim as our dreams of Constantinople
falling through red panes,
like the kiss drying on my lips.
Phoebe Power was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2009. She has since been published in Orbis, YM and Pomegranate, and has performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival. Phoebe lives in Cumbria and is currently studying English at Cambridge.