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Charlotte Pacey

Updated: Sep 13



Downt Road


Days were longer, back then.

Even wi nowt to do but loiter

ont estate. Dirt tanned n blue tongued

from Mr Freeze pops. Front gardens trespassed

t’get ball for Kerby. There’s always one

cack-handed thrower. Treks downt ginnel

in nesh weather, t’back fields where tyre swings

int woods. Dewy grass soakin hems of yer kegs:

Mum’ll get a right monk on.


Trudgin from school. Ya laiking out later?

shouts yer mate over road. In a postered bedroom,

you faff around wi eyeliner, concealer lips,

brush lugs out yer hair, all to traipse

round Mozzas and ogle fitty ont tills. Boys

on bikes stare at y’mates arse in denim shorts.

You cackle about it int park, chelpin away

blastin Arctic Monkeys from a Sony Ericsson. Pray

chuddy masks the cig on yer breath.


Flummoxed feelings. Car brimmin

wi bags ont drive down. Nerves janglin.

Mum starts beefin when it’s time to say tarra

and dad kisses yer ed, look after thissen.

Mek a brew n gander round yer room:

you’ll mek a right nest o this. Meetin strangers

int quad, tell one where yer from:

You’re from Yorkshire? Oh.

I thought that was just wilderness.


Spirals in San Francisco


the sun felt different over there

scintillating

every building drenched in gold

streets as steep as the stories they held

Lombard bijouised with flower beds

and chowder in a bread bowl

down at the wharf

my eyes snagged on crumbling murals

above painted hearts on pavements


how come you’ve got a face like a slapped arse, then?

under a straw hat, dad blazed red

my brother and I detached

from parental guidance adrift

in the city for a while, my lips and lungs

quaking as we watched boats shudder

in the harbour

numb next to lapping water

and lifeless sea lions


passing the bleached spines of palms

I picked scattered ones from the ground

careless to prick fingertips

there was still so much more—

never again would I know—



air seemed to compress

boulevards teeming tourists

sporting I <3 SF tees

and mid-melt ice creams

a couple were kissing outside Ghirardelli’s

he wore clubmaster lenses over closed eyes like—


gulping in a plastic bag

sweat laminated my body

limbs fizzy, like television static

while a sunburnt bulldog squinted

from a doorway


the spluttering engine

caught between starting up

& shutting down buoyed

only by my brother’s tender hold

this is the worst it will feel, y’know

and staggering to the shade

of trees at Coit Tower

collecting breaths like quarters

off the sidewalk

minutes snapping with the sound

of camera shutters

we trampled over those floored hearts

back to air-conned refuge


The Art of Permeation


a shoal of bodies

drift beneath lights fractured

ten-fold by the mist, colour rippling

like petrol in a puddle,

blue fusing with toxic green

on the current as

your antennae

traverse aphrodisia

through this net of souls

flagella frisk torsos and

faces who writhe

in tonight’s pulsing melodies

until

their gaze moors to yours

two alien vessels approaching

through neon darkness, swept

by one another’s tide

and soon

comes

contact

fingerprints of glowing

algae on skin, trailing

bioluminescence

at your neck

throbbing jaw

the beach of your midriff

a knowing swells in their smile

dyadic scents latch as

pheromones surround and plume

in mucous webs

waiting

to copulate

anticipation foams in your belly like a wave rising

to crest

a pair of clams opening

unveiling the red pearl

berthed inside

what follows is a nuclear fusion

of muscle

succumb

taste lust on their tongue

and marvel

how many times this is happening

right now

in the blindness

a quivering brews deep below


fingerprints of glowing

algae on skin, trailing

bioluminescence

at your neck

throbbing jaw

the beach of your midriff

a knowing swells in their smile

dyadic scents latch as

pheromones surround and plume

in mucous webs

waiting

to copulate

anticipation foams in your belly like a wave rising

to crest

a pair of clams opening

unveiling the red pearl

berthed inside

what follows is a nuclear fusion

of muscle

succumb

taste lust on their tongue

and marvel

how many times this is happening

right now

in the blindness

a quivering brews deep below

warm holes dilate

as blood floods and

saliva bubbles between

the shores of lips

popping against pink

barnacles

jaws plunge onto

flesh

passions glug

and spurt within, like

a geyser, and desire pours

into them and into you

like whale song

their teeth

nipping through soft mouth

hands grip throats and

tongues discover ears

where silhouettes engorge

one another, a coalesced body

gyrating

amongst the reef of heads

bass pools with heartbeats

while cravings breed

and minutes lose

all meaning

until

the tsunami

subsides


spindrift calms to coastal fizz

tentacles retract

inside conch skulls

and like a drawn-out tide

distance forms between you

one multiplies to two

another tryst abandoned

to the night




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