Poem of the Month: ‘Unravel’ by Katherine O’Chee

This piece is part of our ongoing series 'Poem of the Month'. Every month, the Writer's Edit team selects their favourite submission and provides detailed feedback to the author.

Stay tuned for an interview with Katherine O'Chee, discussing her inspirations and literary influences.

 

Unravel by Katherine O'Chee

she sees

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tiny dance marks left on the walls of ancient,

crawling veins like lazy Sunday morns of shadowed floors,

cluttered cups and the fresh brew of coffee whizzing ’bout

dazed heads and dreaming eyes;

 

a dream cradled by her mother’s memory

lies sprawled in the strolls of sunlight that are

touching, crossing, meeting hand in hand

in spiderwebs clutching to the final strings of fantasy

 

but his footsteps turn silver into rust:

the elastics of imagination paint her skin in

biting red, and she grips her legs,

grips her rocking soul, grips the tears

descending to a fallen heaven

 

till she forgets her name,

forgets to see.

 

(She tells him: The blind never wanted to be blind.)

 

II

 

dawn intrudes

but the sight of day feasts in dark, still tastes

of broken glass, smashed, smeared across

bruised lungs and breaths so soft

he leaned in and still heard nothing.

 

(She tells him: The quiet kills.)

 

III

 

the classroom shrieks; slashes wild strokes

of symphony against canvases

built solely to be broken; clashes screams with

louder screams; snatches silence by its throat till

it tussled, then it died.

 

she kneels in crosshatches

of darkness, where the granite’s cold

and the lines in her heart uncoil;

presses hands against her ears; pushes,

pushes away the folds of chaos flapping,

expanding, exploding in the space between

shadows and a shrinking wall

 

someone holds her arm. a smile greets

her weary sleeves, pries her fingers from its knuckled white,

like moonlight’s lull pulling aimless tides to shore,

peppering skies with unblown dusts of night.

 

the classroom’s screaming messes of a chant,

smudging blood within their cries

but this boy with dusty hair doesn’t speak.

there’s a silence, timid eyes drifting to

the stillness of another, then

he taps a tune, taps the braid below

her nape, taps her flinch away.

 

(He tells her: Loudness poisons, then it kills. But the silence heals.)

 

IV

 

How then she found heartbeats of her time rife

in silhouettes where day and night collide;

where touching thoughts of silence back to life

untangles knotted breaths and laces tied

to still lips; where endless dreams of static

are stuttered by the strands of silver dust

nuzzling his heart and hers erratic;

where clandestine heavens chip the rust

of tainted youth and peel its ache away;

where the oceans simmering in their chests

implode, and fingers litter lingerie

on carpet floors; her ancient scars undressed,

his eyes anchor her fleeing gaze in place:

an unravelled love no space could erase.

 

(He tells her: Love is blind, but the blind see better than most.)

One Response

  1. Tamyka

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