Stride Magazine -



Now the hair dye has stained the white enamel
the colour of blueberries:
There is no black in nature

In the bath, today’s washing is indigo
as I rinse myself
I imagine blue blood

Wanting the sleek, neat head
of a Chinese concubine
or the shiny spice scent plait of Rita

who taught me simple mathematics
and wore silver bangles
small enough for a child

With such black hair,
the women wear red, red lip gloss
like candied cherries or new wine

Will let a strand escape the Pandora bob
to lick their cheek, dark lacquer on fire
And the boys all love snow white

My mother, who wore her hair
with all colours in its darkness
would have taken a lock from my head

and between finger and thumb
felt its nightshade, beetle shine:
Rough silk bought cheap, worn dear





The  instruments to open up secrets
are specialised, are cold and stainless steel
Something inside that the host will never see
only known to the white coat adepts
the manual to keep running
these  magical and infernal machines

All the mysteries of the interior
The tidal pull and release of the soft belly
The thumping clockwork of the clenched fist heart
Slick parts moving in a box lined with red velvet
Rivers and lesser tributaries of red and blue blood
The cloud shaped tree where we all dream ourselves



(the physical impossibility of pornography)

His leg placed over hers, hooks into place
Chinese could not separate or fall out
number 23 in the book of shapes, her face
a great O where her mouth gapes red to shout
First take the wing and truss it with rough twine
lever the breast and smooth it with the fat
then stroke the neckskin, pearled blue, pale and fine
and see how the white meat tastes after that
These cheery pictures lit like the butchers larder
each  hair, each bruise each wrinkle, each tired
smile  of those who grin and ask for it yes, harder
manoveuring a kiss from the man who owns the ride
Wear nothing, rose celeste, from the contortion book
These dancers crash so slowly, that we can only look

          © Sarah Davies 2002