Sapphire

 

 

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument and guitar

 

 

ARIEL to Miranda: Take

This slave of music for the sake

Of him who is the slave of thee;

And teach it all the harmony

In which thou canst and only thou

Make the delighted spirit glow

Till joy denies itself again

And too intense is turn’d to pain.

 

When first we touched, you smelt of smoke,

Of one-night bars and ice.

Your perfect hollowness, as though

It echoes even mine.

That gentle protest as I stroke

Your neck; and when you bite

My fingertips and moan: I know.

Our hips and waists align.

These wires, I could strangle you,

So artful, leaning in,

I pace my breath. You’ll hurt me, too.

Hold tight, as we begin.

 

 

I called my new guitar Sapphire for a number of reasons: knowing full well that it could be the name of a good time girl somewhere in Florida. 

 

 

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Undecided Colours

 

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If it rains, they say it pours. It’s true.

The blood, the paint and the water were all yours,

I’m soaked with decision. Drenched in this.

I dripped as we stood in the queue.

My lips taste paint. And they are wet.

And the roof of my mouth is called “palate,”

It was chosen by you,

Off the rack, with a dress and a pair

Of rose-tinted shoes.

We stand by the shelves, picking through,

Palates, tastes, tongues, choices. The language

Sticks to my mouth like paint, thick enough to chew.

 

We walk out, with a bag full of “she,”

To their aqueous touch,

The trickle over my skin of

Their eyes, pouring over me,

Rivulets of choice. Their choices now, too.

 

Why did you hide my beautiful skin?

Why do you fear my beautiful skin? For you do.

 

You know, I don’t think this gown will quite do.

I’m hanging up the frock you threw over me.

I will wear an undecided colour,

Mother. Or I will drown

In blue.

 

 

This poem is a response to David Puck’s “Gendered Colours” works, as illustrated above: his copyright. We are collaborating on combining his visual stimuli with my writing, and I anticipate – and greatly look forward to – further work in the near future. 

I have noticeably been influenced by a number of themes and writers here, consciously or otherwise: Sylvia Plath weighs heavily in the rhythm and rhyme, which only struck me after publication. It explores a number of current topics, and truly does benefit from reading aloud: please, read this out loud to yourself. It paints the picture exquisitely. 

David Puck is a Berlin-based artist. You can follow his Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/davidpuckartist/