And then she opened her mouth –
small, faltering at first, then wider, surer,
Names dropped like pebbles at her feet.
Questions fell back between her teeth,
Desire, Laughter, floated out,
Conversation fluttered, darted.
Wit came rolling from the back of her throat,
Knowledge filled her cheeks –
cool and fleshy like ripe melon, then
Love – a thick bank of salt
left on her tongue after the swell –
she was thirsty and told him so.
When he drew back, Hurt came bucking
and groaning, Confusion twisted
and eddied across her lips,
and to his repulsion came Insults –
her lips crashing rocks, he watched with horror
as Interruptions, Lies, Demands, and worse –
Truth came spilling from her open mouth.
She was a pot boiling over,
blackening at the base,
could only be stopped when they held her,
plugged her mouth with damp rag –
turned her roar to a gurgle.
Silly girl, they said did you think that mouth
was another gift for you to open?
They prayed that night, wove her a dress
from the embers of a holy fire
to parch her throat and dry her senses.
When finally they removed the rag,
she found Hope was all she had –
sweet as molasses, hardened in the heat.
By Ella Frears
Ella Frears is a poet and visual artist based in south-east London. She was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London (2014) and has had poetry published in BRAND, Lighthouse,The Stockholm Review of Literature,The Emma Press and Poems in Which. Ella is an associate board member for Magma Poetry and is currently Poet in Residence at Knole House in Kent. www.ellafrears.co.uk
Surrender by Edurne Idiondo