On first devising paper by Tamsin Blaxter

“The skin is the body’s weightiest organ
like the crucifix on the church wall
bows and sags it, bloating it and stretchmarks
striate the plaster.”

On first devising paper by Tamsin Blaxter

The skin is the body’s weightiest organ
like the crucifix on the church wall
bows and sags it, bloating it and stretchmarks
striate the plaster.

The sticky hands say to the skin
when we’re string and bone
where is your source of movement? and the skin
says nothing in response.

Old clothes folded in drawers
tally years and/or brief,
remembered style mistakes. Yes, you couldn’t
carry everything you own on your back

but that’s a mislead, irrelevant,
like you couldn’t carry your whole skin
and the billowing walls of your house together
in your arms but still

you keep living in them
and they fade into the background,
mostly, until now they’re lit only in these
few forays into summer.

*

Tamsin is poet and historical linguist based in Cambridge, UK. They write about gender, the plague, bodies, outer space, etc. Her work has previously appeared in FIELD, DREGINALD and The /tƐmz/ Review, among other places.

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