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Sarah Law :: Six poems

Imposter Syndrome

the nacre/ the floating lotus/ sliver of time/ inhale
a straightening of the back/ chance would be a fine

what you know you don’t/ hide & seek/ flavoured gloss
now the second hand/ now the click & point/ book I

a cartel of flowers/ a wreathe, in & out/ the splash
a word, lonely in its snow/ investment/ a stump

what you cut out of the hours/ a raggedy duo/ lip & hip
yesterday I wasn’t born/ an eiderdown/ my mother, pressed

attack of the aperture/ a shape you almost/ figurative
blonde over the greys/ your head tipped back/ chin, peaking

bring me green tea/ pond in a cup/ fishing/ bring me
patchy clarification/ easy speaking/ a mouthful of pearls


We peel and part it,
this timetabled day,

each task a living segment;
rich in its sac of skin,

each hour of the globe
a lung or bladder or womb,

connected by tissue;
white pith – silent

and papery as prayer,
tasteless, even bitter

with the code of itself,
the bright sun’s buffer

and innocent stuff of its birth
sloughed off untouched.


velvet pouch/ the year’s swell/ cracked shackles
O patrimony/ naked, without/ a gradual stack

pastry/ stuffed rafters/ a family tree
burgeoning/ day-dresses/ estimated price

a pig in a poke/ protein-packed/ not a matter of feel
harvest moon/ hands full/ travelling light

soft as gold/ fat as butter/ wait & see
after the death/ a dove/ unease the day

easy to forget/ chicken or egg/ head & shoulders
little engraved hearts/ beyond the veil/ inside the rim

book of hours/ tree-rings/ photo opportunist
ten seconds/ happenstance/ barometric pressure

light my eyes/ lie for me/ frieze-dried
premium skincare/ bed no breakfast

a respectable woman/ spectacles/ tide-marks
open house/ conflict resolution/ will it fit


I was away for a while,
and you slid back the bolts;

unconsciously I felt you lift
my heart into your boat,

and while I swam in poetry
you turned its blood-jet low,

re-fashioning a harbor
for my drifting self to stow;

your hands were deft and sharp
at knitting in the light

and I was open to your craft
of making rough things right;

such is the pledge you take:
this death is but a fleck

You reel my body back
to heal itself with breath;

then as the morning calls me home
I wake to the dream I know.


slipstream tonic/ first time for everything/everything
cut-up/ black, unsweetened/ the lure of the cover/ gold

alphabet city/ the city as map of the body/ unlit
part of an artery/ closet encounter/ blue funk

the schedule, delayed/ the interim manager/ fate
suit & tie/ some childhood operation/ lovely music

nothing that urgent/ slow-dance ticket/ limbo
a massage/ wind chimes/ horrible thirst

an apricot nestled in pastry/ a yolk/ gestation
the words on your tongue/ kaleidoscope/ host

refreshment/ the button is anything but
the cycle of hope/ the endless list/ the jump

integrity/ the leafing through/ atonement
the aperture/ the overture/ the drift

I was only being honest

the astringent rinse
the spike in pressure
the coverlet

the several ragged skirts
the midwife’s hips
the gnat-pocked apple

the cards’ slip and flicker
transparency, ticket
your word against mine

the space in the creed
the quixotic dip
the millstone

an unlucky draw
the gap-stone style
whirring spokes

the hapless acts of charity
artisanal bread
a crack in the market

the stain of art
the graze of the lost
the cut of dissent

epistemological waiver –

Sarah Law lives in London, UK, where she is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University andelsewhere. She has published five poetry collections, and edits the online journal Amethyst Reiew. With recent or forthcoming work in Stride; Ink, Sweat & Tears; Psaltery & Lyre; Amaryllis; and Saint Katherine Review, she is interested in saints, sinners, and the twists and turns of language.

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