I am…


- the dress of smashed satin,
shiny in patches, but clinging to your hips,
coating you in colour,
sheathing you like a blade.
Yes, you’re still sharp, girl


- the ghost drunk’s odd quilt coat,
a cloak of ermine and polydirt
held together, as mum would say
with sweat and suture twine,
worn even in the glare of Summer
because weather is a used up habit -
no benefit felt


- the dressing gown, a flux of towelling or silk,
dependent on their mood -
worry holes and snags in running water
Strange comfort is how I covet them
and how I cover -
slipping round the shoulder,
down the arms, lapping at the belly and below.


- the dress you wore when they lowered
your mother into the ground,
as they’d lay a child to sleep-
it wasn’t too black, with roses for relief

the boots you stamped
and trod your first cigarette dead out-
you’d never believe where all those breaths might go

the coat you shivered in, thick with fog and fag blue air –
one of those scottish winters where your legs bore radiator scars,
pink as babyskin

the pencil skirt worn over lace suspenders
when he said he loved you
one Kensington afternoon -
the coal wool wet with rain,
a lost sheep
in a field of the cloth of gold.


- the minister’s suit:
cut granite /light absorbent/cobra black linen/skin for the long meetings,
shed each summer recess for a shrugging
of ambition

the latest is edition #23,
so sharply tailored that it hurts
to see the creases worn, the wrinkles


- Copernicus’ cloak
hung on the creaking door
in his fugitive observatory –
a hole for the sky to seep through
making me a wizard cloak now too –
patterned with stars.
I am the second best, the cloak
he wears for writing his ellipses,
for ordering his servants, for lighting
the candles – this is still the dark ages.

Sarah Davies

If you've any comments on this poem, Sarah Davies would be pleased to hear from you.