Darting

poetry by Elspeth Wilson

Darting


The train lazes along the cliff like the last snake left in Ireland
vodka bottles garnishing the 1980s floor like glinting anecdotes to be mined

a man asks me do you indulge
- would that the answer could be yes
but I am taking my body to gravelly water and salvation isn’t made for pleasure

the starlings’ flight echoes the v of my thighs,
memory penetrating the blocked pores of my mind
as I wish I could listen to Kanye like I used to
but every time he says bitch my body is an elastic band, snapping

back to words in a mouth where they shouldn’t have
been; we pass places of names I’ve learnt to pronounce the hard way
their sounds tasting like the salt in my mouth when I lick your shoulder
after sea-swimming

when wetness belongs to our bodies and our bodies belong to no one 

but themselves
when everything is preserved
and I start to smoke this thing called happiness
hanging it out to dry with the kippers; bikinis.

I like you, I love you

poetry by Elspeth Wilson

I like you, I love you 

I wear the big pants with the stories dried in blood. High wasted grey. I crook you in my body but you don’t want to be held there anymore. The lacy thongs lie in the drawer whispering that I have changed.

We live in a cottage like they say in Austen novels - but really this one is shit. Bills lace around our hearts; the strings pull tighter. We are our own butchers.

You are home late and I paint my nails with tales of car crashes. A key creaks in a lock; ill-fitted. There are moths in my stomach - people would like me more if you died. Cautionary drama. You are the only moral of this story.

Elspeth Wilson

Elspeth Wilson is a Scottish writer and researcher. She has recently started to write poetry and in 2019 her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and shortlisted for the Streetcake experimental writing prize. She is currently working on her first poetry collection and a novel.