Issue 010

What're you talking about? / Page 6

Stone Blades

Author: Olly Todd
Illustrator: Olja Oblvco
Part of me angel is in danger of becoming a bore
in this poxy SoHo. I’m starting to repeat myself.
Oh, draw yourself half-faun at a floor to ceiling window.
Light up a dark jail, turn shadows weld from smalt.
If you want advice,
get someone to get some joy out of you.
Or, go it alone then.

A sirened picture by flame
in soil wakes a man with smoke
- the falconer in the rain
and his ash-rabbit eyes open
to the world, a handful of escape.

But you cannot wake in such ways so you need me.
I’m sick of saying. A low-key candidate for breakfast
with the works, I know, but cuddly enough, fragrant
enough, slippers shiny… enough. And so warm while
you last. Enough! Ok, back to the November night riot
of doorways under cinemas. You keep talking
about getting a machine but we have no money.
My last ten plucked from your bra for that little bit
when your eyes were blackening. How were you such
a good actress then, your body pale and drunk
up on the Haymarket brow?
“I didn’t leave you,” you plead as I find you.
And again, each disappearance, “I didn’t leave you.”

Honey we’ll oxidize. Let’s get a car made to be
driven fast at night and you can recite in your breath,
‘We shall break no butterflies on our wheels.’
Before these axles are ground down to the iron bar
and verdigris forms on their copper and brass.
I want to put my head in my shoulder, bat my eyelids,
smile until you smile. Let’s go, please, crawl out.

With monsoons harnessed, groundwater
mined in gravity, why weigh silt?
So stone blades can harvest invisible wheat?
We cannot sweetheart cut and basket
what is not there.
And you are not one who knits the roots
of the rubber tree into a bridge,
guides them to anchors,
turning sap in the tree muscle.
So you have time.
Your family allows your stepwell solace,
pilgrim prayer, bathing worship.
Part of me angel, sweetheart cut.

Olly Todd's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Clinic #1, Vice, Plus One and Mercy. He lives in Elephant & Castle and swears by the typewriter. Olja Oblvco (b. 1988) from Moscow, Russia is now a fourth year student of architecture.

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