Three Poems by Lucy Whitehead


Everything grows from the heart.
We curl around ourselves,
ancient sea creatures
spiralling out like Catherine wheels
from the moment of conception,
voyaging in the womb
from that unknown place
where worlds are born,
beating against the warm walls
of our shoreless oceans
in our translucent skin,
our unpigmented fur.
We are all water people,
liminal mermaids.


After gardening
my husband tossed a torn packet
of snapdragon seeds onto the bed.
Forgotten pinpricks of darkness spilled
onto sky-blue Egyptian cotton sheets,
worked their way into crevices. One
crept into the corner of my eye
danced like grit in an oyster shell,
scratched its way into my dreams,
split my skull into two
soft shadowed petals of
sculpted moonlight
sprung so tightly
they snapped back
and swallowed him.


I want to throw this body back,
this body with its net of pain
where I flap and flounder
day after day, year after year.

Look beyond these sparkling scales,
this rainbow gleam, these sequin eyes.
My cells still remember
the dance of the sea.

Lucy Whitehead‘s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Amethyst Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Barren Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Broken Spine Artist Collective, Burning House Press, Clover and White Literary Magazine, Collective Unrest, Electric Moon Magazine, Ghost City Review, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Mookychick Magazine, 3 Moon Magazine, Neon Mariposa Magazine, Parentheses Journal, Pink Plastic House, Pussy Magic, Re-side, and Twist in Time Literary Magazine. You can find her on Twitter @blueirispoetry.

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