Poetry by Rushika Wick





In the bathroom cabinet

are a collection of nail polish bottles

with names like Bombshell

and Indienne sky.

Each one has been used

only once, maybe twice.

Some have sat there for years,

their potency distilling.


There is never time

to draw the colour out

but occasionally

sunlight decays the lurid

pigments changing them,

in the same way your hands

now touch my waist.


The brush licks

my fingernails

warm like saliva

and midnight opens up.


With them present

and hidden away

there is the possibility

of Florence and Manhattan


or of violence and

consuming without end

until the sickness

makes me clean again.


A glass bottle

of words and minerals

for drinking


with rose petal cordial

or bloody steak.

You are something else

they say,

and that makes me

whole for that

short, sweet while.






She saw the italics in blue skin-


taut across his neck

sea water ligaments

rippling beneath his surface.


They spelt out her name

singing across those broad plains

like the title of a book newly in print,

full of expectation and bloom,


glimpsed in the corner of his being

like a sharp intake of breath,

like filigreed sails

of electric possession.


She looked longer still

and saw the skin older, looser,

the lettering crushing

consent and craft


like a mortgage of the soul

trapped in dispersed and diffracted ink

seeping and eking through cells

as a dense weight started to

intoxicate her,

a ringing sound all around

scratching at her heart,


there could be no erasure-

the letters like an epitaph

in blackened rock.





Featured Image Credit

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