Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea. She's had her poetry published in numerous journals – among them, Fevers of the Mind, The Selkie, Green Ink Poetry, Crow and Cross Keys, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and Burnt Breakfast Magazine. Her chapbook Push was published by Erbacce Press, while her debut collection, Shouting at Crows was published in 2022 by Alien Buddha Press.
The first time we meet the shock
is there but small, a pause
in the celestial clock;
a tick of time suspended,
My heart refinds its
beat. Life moves on.
In quiet moments
I find myself replaying
the curve of shadows
under your eyes
and I wonder at your weariness.
Another day, a touch of fingers
on my shoulder
and the heat flows, how can
you caress so intimately?
I walk away yet feel you
across the room.
When our eyes meet I know
from the way our cheeks flush,
we are magnets, an exquisite tug
dilating pupils, veins, souls,
it is more than imaginary,
this pain, this want.
We meet by chance, friends
of a friend, and I want to say,
if you were to take my hand
right now, lead me to an empty room,
press your leg between my thighs
as I pull your face towards me,
the wall cold against my back
and the warmth of you so
overwhelming I almost faint from
hunger quenched, ferocity and
joy, terror and delight, your tongue
in my mouth, my fingers
entangled in your hair,
your hands caressing beneath
the black soft cotton, belly, breast,
my sighs, your breath gasping,
diffident explorer, urgent devourer
and all this Oh my God
my dear did you not know?
if you were to take my hand
it would be beyond words,
beautiful, defiled in ecstacy ...
and inevitable – it has happened – it –
will – happen – remember –
the universe played this moment
to infinity before we were born
but yes, hi, no I don't think we've
actually been introduced, although
we've met. We've met. We've met.
A Nice Cup of Tea
I knew he had died
Because every day he woke first
To bring a nice cup of tea in bed.
And that morning the kettle
Didn't wake me and he lay
Still beside me.
I eased into my slippers
Padded to the kitchen.
Made two teas, put them on tray.
The nice cups, with saucers,
Fine china that needed a wash
Because of the dust, for show
Usually, we could see our hands
Through the glaze. Nice cups.
With fresh milk, not yesterday's.
Watched the kettle boil.
The steam curled
Across the worktop
And disappeared. Where does it go
I wondered. The sugar shook
From the spoon a little.
A nice cup of tea.
When we were young we played
at the beach on a blustery day.
The waves snapped against our legs.
We bellysurfed through spume,
not knowing if the wet on our cheeks
was foam or rain or tears of laughter.
Then you were tumbled by breakers
against the groyne, the length of it,
up with the wave and then sucked
back by its retreat, and I still laughed
because you were a rag doll flailing,
sand and weed in your hair, mouth wide.
You crawled back to me, stood,
and from every inch of you blood
welled, a thousand striations
of intricate symmetry,
with the salt water
kept you numb,
I don't remember
how you reached hospital, maybe
someone from the pier phoned.
I was confused, you went away,
your parents came
with white-edged lips and no words.
I never saw you again.
You were safer away from me
and the sea.
I went to the beach that winter
to watch waves surge and ebb.
There was no newly realised
aura of doom.
I ran fingertips along my body at night,
wondered if your scars were raised
or flat, if they held in their patterns
the beauty of those first beads
of blood through the pale,
and the wonder in your eyes.
Beginnings: Push (Erbacce Press)
A Nice Cup of Tea: Anser Journal (Dec 2020)
Ruth: exclusive first publication by iamb