Jemima Wickham 17 October 2020

These poems were mine.

I crawled back to them, their foreign tongue

And slipped mine in – traced the many shapes

I hid in their stanzas,

Safe. Our secret.

The musk of my teenage desk snagged

On an imperative,

The far-off trawl of my brother’s marbles

And fancies of fervour

Rolling down that line.

Later, the stickier seep of understanding

Oozing through an envious cry.

These poems were mine.

Now, I’m stuck

Sucking your stale feelings from their phrases.

They’re only loyal to themselves, and

Have rotted my illusions away.