Longlisted Poem 2011

Sophie Phillips

Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School, Liverpool


Beneath black branches
The carnival rages
Drowning in a greasy mix of colour and hormones.
Outside, Chinese dragons bear down upon me
The guards veined blue with marrow cold
Tourniquet to the synaesthesia of another’s hands inside your womb.
Sweaty fear gropes blindly across your lap
Pours its acrid fester down your ear
While leathery ropes tie you together with flaxen words and wine-soaked thread
And as I watch I notice your nails are shaped like almonds.
A marker lost in history’s pages
Plumbing the depths for crosshair coordinates
Where by lamplight you unlace my spine from Fear’s corset
Stitched to nerve endings
A melanoma of embroidered oak walls
And strategic panic
Blinkered rooks that sense the arches across a gingham floor.
We slide back to fetters willingly
I will always follow you in high-heeled shoes
Over ground painted with winter and lustful eyes.
And flawed by bureaucracy’s straight flush of preachers
Apostates dance a foxtrot with a drunk prison wall.
The city’s elegy of a ciphered sunset plays along a Möbius strip
As modern life roars its oily wheels down the highway
Lie down beside me as the sky blushes pink
The dew drips in time to your a cappella note
Running into the morning Dawn spilt from her cup.
Let me feel as your skin and mouth
Are warmed by sunlight’s splendid gaze
as your bloodstream sings in tune with mine
On a morning’s mountainside.
© Sophie Phillips

Project Details

  • Date January 13, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems