half alive - soo zzzz CC
Sweet and low,
there are few things that could be
described as such in this calamitous
city o’ London- the traffic puts us
to sleep like a mother’s song.
when the river is low it looks as though it
battery acid and pirate bone.
My friend comes to
visit, we weigh almost 33 years
on the grass-
watch a great Dane steal a
pizza box & carry it
across the Heath. She looks magnificent in
as she describes our twenties as a
miserable, beautiful thing.
So much fucking that we didn’t enjoy.
She sings to me
later, when it
is dark and we walk to stop the cold.
A soft, climbing register-
the humming song,
performed inward to vibrate down about the
My lungs feel as though on the verge
of being spatchcocked- as
if the past is only sitting at the bottom of our throats-
we force it up, to see if it dies in our mouths.
permanently bent over by the wind-
mixed blood by syringe tip
to become family.
One with plenty of missing pieces, teeth-
the outer layers become rich and coarse
like pig skin,
pressed against the join of glass and brick
sleeping in the shop mouth again-
a raft of old fruit boxes-
imagining the body set alight
to keep the heat in.
the embalming flow of drug
warming through the veins.
Stephanie Powell is a poet based in London, she grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications. A new collection of poems, Bone will be published in Summer 2021. When not writing she works in documentary television.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.