how can i tell her

how can i tell her all she is. that her heart has moved mountains in a single beat. that her mind glows auburn in the darkness. that her passion drives others when they have lost themselves. in joy or heartbreak or mere despondency i reach for her hand: she cannot see that gratitude is not…

kiln

fifteen years old, school bag bending her back, she watches her childhood burn. the storm-eyed bears and rounded, plump-cheeked girls, tumbling from regiment to ruin in the blackened echoes of her fantasy. the patent leather shoes are swallowed next, the photographs and paintings, the pine cones rising forgotten from the sand of some holidayed beach…

first

you were the first, i think, in crystal tones with tunes unsung and words unknown pouring from my teenage bones you knew just how the seeds were sown the longing gleaned from every night from angel wings in wandering white whispering secrets to the first light …now tell me if i’ve got this right tasting…

aurora

she is treading the line, one foot in free fall; seconds away she stops and glances up at a polyester sun, finds herself momentarily hypnotised by the vivid passing of night and day. where do they find it, each dawn? the strength to carry on into a life that always ends, that transient glimpse of…

Open up

This is the start, open up, breathe it in, The shaping of a life, this is where you begin. This is spinning in space, this is scandal, disgrace: Open your eyes and take up your place The fighting, the flirting, the blood, sweat and tears There is rage here, and fire, where dreams turn to…

Of the Chase and the Flight

I am walking a ridge at daybreak. The wind crackles in my hair, painting my stinging cheeks red and white. All around is madness and magic. A heavy fog hangs hot and cloying about me, spiralling downwards as I pull my legs through matted grass. I don’t know why I’m walking. A troupe of hailstones…

Ticks and nods and broken hearts

In the end, it was silence that saved her. Her mother used to say that she was born in noise. Her screaming melody echoed into the shaky darkness and her heart, vibrant and fierce, seemed to burst from her tiny chest. She was forged in fire and blazed with an inexplicable freedom, thundering from her…

BOOK REVIEW: ‘A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars’ by Yaba Badoe

First published on Cuckoo Review: http://review.cuckoowriters.com/   A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars, the debut novel of author Yaba Badoe, is a sensitive and beautifully poetic book. Weaving together magic and mythology with real world issues, Badoe is able to create a story that both enchants and unsettles readers. The story follows Sante, a member of…

The Final Battle

18 minutes since I left.  I trace the outlines of my heart with my blackened fingertips, stare into the hollow shadow next to me as if he could melt out of it and grasp me again. I clench and unclench my fingers, trying desperately to tell myself that they are mine. Mine alone. These arms,…

Postcard Love Songs

She met him in the Summer, among the cocktails and the noise and the crowds and the sunlight. He caught her as she tumbled from bar to dazzling bar, and she had the uneasy sense of being swept off her feet. His laughter was a sweet scent, his smile ice-cream on her tongue. She traced…

Piggy Bank

As a child, she would put all her money in a small piggy bank. It sat in the corner of her room and every night, she would empty her pockets – the soiled pennies from the street, the sparkling coins her mother pressed into her hand for helping around the house, the odd coppers that…

Retrospect

“The curves of your lips rewrite history” – The Picture of Dorian Gray He has the kind of smile that makes you want to relive your life. Not to hide it, or change it, or somehow unblemish it to make it worthy of his gaze, but simply… simply to live out your memories in the…