Save the Last Gasp for Me
My heart is in the clouds when you come find me,
tell me, you have decided to re-invent yourself
as a dying star, bowing out over the cosmos
glaring sparks at the blue and green marble arcing
below, falling graceful,
swanlike, into my tangle of pretty wants,
tall mythic queen; my ambered light, your honey
voice, buzzwell, she told me, the bean-stalked
moon was riding high that night
covered in guilt and trailing dark clouds,
like the ghosts from an old silver magic
a strangeness opens between us, like worship,
like a beach revealed by the slick outgoing
tide, silky with pressure to sweep you away,
sweep you away and you open, unfolding your secrets
whisper dreams in my ear, turning a smile
like a giant sunflower seeking out the face of the sun,
could set a barometer by your wardrobe of hope.
A dark shred of disbelief attaches itself to a white
nightgown, throat clutched like a fist, she is alone
with the bat. Trapped in her room past midnight
and no one to wake for help. Illicit fingers steal her
peace, and he quivers, waiting.
She pities him, his radar found wanting. Little, by little,
she unfreezes, moves to the window, clings to the curtain.
The bat has spread leathery wings like her old hands, full
of instinct, and she sits for hours in the window, high
in the glass tower; an ageing princess, with her one suitor.
Her start, as the light clicks off, brings the bat from his dreams,
he swoops to life
and she screams the meaning of hers out into the night.
Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Leeds, UK. 2018 publications include Ellipsis, Reflex Fiction, The A3 Review, Please Hear What I’m Not Saying (MIND Poetry Project) and 50 Best British and Irish Poets from Eyewear Books. She has held theatrical residencies at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds & Harrogate Theatre, which have supported her plays The Rain King and Laridae.
Artwork by: Sarah Shields
Sarah Shields is an artist and writer living in Southern California with her family and one very naughty cat. Her artwork has appeared in The Pinch, Figroot Press, and Gigantic Sequins among others. She is lost and sometimes found on Twitter @saraheshields.