Three poems by Clare Pennington
A Blood Head at the Museum The blood ice, moulded To the contours of the slight lump on the back of the head, True to a twisting rise along the nose Feathered lips and clumpy eye-lashes, Is aging rust, Joined in a frozen arc scar that. Cutting. Along the back of the ears, curving over the skull Makes indirect. Contact. The museum tastes of new school books, paper white chocolate. Mortis: Genitive Singular. But here is one of some. Brain Freeze! My thoughtful posture on white background Is wiped away. Brain Freeze! Her voice is pitched high, Her in pink eyeliner and plastic bracelets. Friend in black hoodie with the word Heart sewn to its back: Blood slush puppy! EEE - You. The warm and decaying colours Make frozen bruises with the frosted, berry flakes. Impulse scent. Slices through the white. And I silently thank them in my relief I don't need to possess any deaths. In Seville Think of eyes opening In the submarine, the submembrane bell of her body, Heavy-lidded flickering, fluid on eyeball The practiced breathing of liquid. Think of the city Baked terracotta and Grey-veined marble On which she cools her giants' feet. There will be an open wound. Then if you're lucky, a scar. But that is all you can know. Her neck turns, And there it is. A dark half moon, lunar lift of cancer growing. You weigh the possibilities Dissect them carefully as a surgeon. But your hands shake And the stars are heavy. Inside of a Chestnut The Sky: A sickly, neon-pink glows Behind darkening cumulous. Behind Greenwich chimneys. Swifts turn as they race to nest. The Hill: The long grass is folded Green and wheat over a mossy sloth's back. The Tree: Old branches reach down Beginning a longer descent Into the earth. The Chestnut: The tin can we hid here last summer Is gone But I pocket a smooth chestnut To put a part of you on the mantle-piece.