love / same old sex my pretty elbow

my bones press too hard at joints and wear through fibres

till even my pretty elbow peeps out where it rubs at threads

snuggled like capillaries, snapping and fraying — a pretty elbow pokes

out of the muscle of our entangled lives the evening you stand behind me

close enough to breathe on my neck and see the pale, exposed bone

send a shiver down my arm — you tuck your finger into the hole

and stroke my pretty elbow to let it know you know — in the morning

I choose a patch — I’ve kept our old shirts and jeans, scraps

I cut a circle of shell brown and with pricks of pink, stitch down a pattern

like cats tongues, overlapping the loving that mends us

From With Love, (Live Canon, 2020) first published by I'll Show You Mine Journal after being shortlisted by Andrew McMillan

She Finds It Difficult To Pray

  wordsmith from drystones

               do you miss the fulmar shriek


  at sea

              the limpet stack?

             you’re on the fen now

  call out loud               call full-throated

             we need a miracle

             we need to heal

  our planet would a-wounding-go

  the people are a-weeping

  & drought is coming

             women are closing up like bivalves

             women are clustering their babies

  how did you pray up the storm?

            horses & armour chasing you down the estuary

            foam & force & wicked fear

  you prayed in a cave

            more of a lowly scrape in the dunes

                         cut off on the spit

            how did you pray up that storm?

  if wanting is enough

  I’ll be the wilked wave & bruise the sky as I toss up

  the enclosures

              of the sisters of the wives of the mothers

                           of the muses of whatever they’re calling us

  I want to be a wilked wave

              wash away every address in a skeet sea

              reeve the land          until Ely floats

                                                                again &

  in Cambridge rowers will scull dons to a new shore

                                                  far above the bridge of sighs &

             I will swim down

             into the library of climatology

  where octopus computers are tethered


             their one bewildered eye

  after all, they knew —

  water is the story

  no matter the Mars men

  let them rocket & waste up the speckled sky


                        flanked by the bright shells of astronauts

  tell me

  if we could humble ourselves

  flatten our bodies out         on the fen

                                             like water does

  what prayer is there now

  that could lift up the ground on one side & pool us

                                                                   & quickly

Published in EcoTheo Review, Summer 2020