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"Edge", "How Not to Stargaze", and "Of Trees" by Marie Little


We will run prints in the sand

down to the rock pools

come up jagged with emptiness.

We will walk the rounded wall of

lobster pots, post

a stone through every hole

incanting hopes.

We will toe the water where it’s

coldest, testing the blueness of veins

until we are pale with regret.

We will smooth our path home by

attrition, leaning into

the swell.

How not to stargaze

That long summer month when

the sky caught alight

I bit dense black cake

from the mouth

of a bad lad

but did not fly.

His dreams screeched past

on flaming tails but

my bare soles stayed grounded.

I dug my toes into

powdered peanut brittle nights

rolled back my eyes

tasted sweet dark nuggets of midnight

sparked up a poem

rolled tight.

Of Trees

I grew from the apple tree

sometimes clinging like mistletoe

sometimes waiting for the right gravity

like a bitter Eater.

Shaped by the holly

my whole life tangled forwards

into many places

I couldn’t breathe:

no footholds

no nests so

I borrowed others’

pushed children ahead of me through

sticky leaves

full emersion

like regression therapy


Someone's little sister

with a weak name

always reached the fir tree top

me down below planning my

angle of catch.

At the end of the garden

laburnum fascination

hung with poisonous bridesmaids

little girls’ ponytails

I would rub along its bench

lick your finger hope to die.

I will scrub school bark with crayon stubs

lash a tyre swing to

the public trunk my children smile from for photos

I will smooth

the knot in me that

betrays my many rings.

I grew from the apple tree

sometimes clinging like mistletoe

sometimes waiting.

Marie Little lives near fields and writes in the shed. She has poetry featured in: Ink Sweat and Tears, Cool Rock Repository, Full House Lit Mag, Fevers of the Mind, Anti-Heroin Chic, Honeyfire, Zero Readers and more. She also writes and publishes short fiction. Marie is part of Team Sledge at Sledgehammer Lit and is on Twitter @jamsaucer.


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