Content Warning: blood, mental health, emotional abuse, dark themes
Vikki C. – The Art of Glass Houses
The "d" in desire, is that of divorce, death…or Dionysus.
He ushers me through the annex to a sketch of a human heart "Disarray"
consumed in wildflowers - we argue nightly: "bounty or strangulation?"
He proclaims "flourish"; my oppressed tongue languishes.
(He who keeps an orrery by his bedside)
As though the universe was mapped by his simple ancient hands:
Sun, Moon, Earth - neglecting the fugue of stars burnt en route to breath.
No nightingale sings from birch boughs. The cage is a blackout poem,
the war, a run on sentence, I try to punctuate. My body, a comely comma to his lines of fire.
I read Virginia incognito, recreating her fortress of stones, the river a tempting grave.
Again, voice silenced by the grind of steel. In Richmond, the trains run late on summertime.
A paltry excuse. And still, I arrive, the dawn, like soft molt, safe in my pockets.
He strips away the afterbirth, lights another pipe dream; I swallow the ash.
(By my bedside, the planets in the bell jar contract)
A prayer away, I float. In the upturned splintered boat,
in the milk-bellied seagulls imitating angels,
in grace falling long from the cliffs of Dover.
Atonement, a lowland that bears no heather.
Vikki C. is a British-born poet and fiction writer from London whose work features vivid imagery inspired by existentialism, science and nature. Her poetry appears in anthologies including Black Bough Poetry (summer 2022 edition and forthcoming) and FromOneLine Anthologies, Volumes 1,2 & 3 (Kobayaashi Studios). Her voice and poetry have been featured in various spoken word engagements and collaborations. Vikki is also an avid pianist who enjoys composing music to accompany spoken poetry. Twitter: @VWC_Writes
Artwork: Motion of the Heart and Blood by L.M. Cole
L.M. Cole is a poet and artist residing in North Carolina. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming with Roi Fainéant, Corporeal, Daily Drunk, The Bitchin' Kitsch and others. She can be found on Twitter @_scoops__