Tuesday poem: The Sabattier Effect by Serie Barford

I’m oversaturated
exposed to light
to the point of transmutation

another year
another cyclone
my body’s lost definition

seeps into the tropical surrounds
of an island shaped like a dodo

I haven’t written for days

all the paper in the village
sweats with humidity
resists ink and lead
from hibiscus-coloured pens

sheaves stick together
like perspiring skin
folding in onto itself
with clammy persistence

there are no mountains
to entice or capture clouds
straying over this coral atoll

it swelters and steams
collects cyclones in water-tables
beneath its crust

I want to read about love
reconstruct glory and exaltation

but don’t be fooled
reciting love poems
restoring cathedrals

it’s all the same

the fabric of construction
a foil for the soul

like any sarcoma
it reveals itself

just as exposure to light
has triggered metamorphosis

the Sabattier effect
has rendered me androgynous

my silhouette
now a crumpled egg-beater
on a sodden mattress

recalls your touch
fragrant as frangipani
forever gone

your form
so lush and fleshy
I got lost in you

once you stroked my slight curves
whispered in my ear
who’d know
you’ve given birth to men

I love you
in Cyrillic script

on a shred of paper
I keep for the sliver of passion
left in me

By Serie Barford and used with the permission of the author. Serie  was recently awarded the Seresin Landfall Residency.


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