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coral and pearl / 2019

trembling girl, cut from coral and pearl
delicate, like harp strings, and hummingbirds
or the first winter snowdrops, pale petals unfurled
how determined they rise from the frost-covered earth.

you have made yourself home, out of canyon and cove
you have crowned yourself queen, in california gold
time tosses, like blossoms, us each to its fragrant wind
but you’re wrapped in a light that can never be dimmed.

 

 

*

 

 

new years eve, torquay.

there are three flowers on the table. two white freesias, silk-petalled and splashed gold, scented citrus-sweet, and there’s a single nerine, too, or guernsey lily, the place they first grew originally. named after the nereids, the sea nymphs that would protect sailors and their ships, in the language of flowers, nerines represent vulnerability. freesias, trust. each bloom or bud sits in its very own ginger beer bottle, labels half peeled off. fever tree, iron & wine’s fever dream spinning about in my head.

an almost astonishingly pretty girl/goddess, in a pale grey lace dress, is sitting by the fireplace, which crackles and sparks and sparkles, every now and again. i’m only half listening to my family, they’re inventing outlandish stories about the characters that keep their boats next to ours in the bay harbour. there’s ralph with his wolfhound, and there’s captain bubble wrap, too, who is very kind and has offered to teach me how to sail. i can’t concentrate on anything they’re saying, and the radiator behind the sofa is far too warm, uncomfortably so. i excuse myself. i bypass the bearded boy behind the bar with the green eyes, who waves, smiles, and i walk outside, into the night. we’re at the bottom of a little valley, the hills are all deep black, looming above me,  they’re actually somewhat spooky. until the fireworks start.

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