Sun Burn by Caroline Hardaker

I very much wanted to reach it –
that pillar, alarm red with gaping gurn
shining with the postman’s mark

but my feet didn’t quite work
and the sky inlaid with doom was dark.
I couldn’t cognate the way to walk

my legs were string, unravelling rope
falling away in bits, post sulphur soak.
My fringing clothes didn’t even fit me

and draped like an aged net curtain would,
my hairs split twigs from a starving tree.
All I wanted was to reach it, touch it even,

be electrified by this mast of men
stretching calls between continents.
A beacon of the street’s love-ins and brawls.

In the end I couldn’t, white blacked my eyes.
What if I was to not see the floor and fall
contracting toxoplasmosis from cat-marked curbs?

It’s not worth the risk, I insist, let the letter
yellow and knotted mind flow to remote suburbs
or further still, to temperate sand-washed outskirts, just me

not fraught at the thought of spores, or sepsis,
sharp birds in flight, or penetrating company.

Caroline Hardaker

Caroline Hardaker lives in the north east of England. Her poetry has been featured or is forthcoming by The Stinging Fly, The Emma Press, Neon Magazine, and Shoreline of Infinity. Caroline is a poetry and drama reviewer for the Three Drops From a Cauldron e-zine, and the in-house blogger for Mud Press.


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