/ɡɪlt/ – Julia Stothard


It’s almost a cloud sagging its belly
on a row of chimneys, barely holding
its water in. It’s almost moss
with seeds stuffed in its cheeks and hair
sprouting from its upper lip. It’s almost
a bus seat, stubbly velour clenching
a dust storm and too much give in its middle.

It’s almost a fragment of chalk loosening
from a cliff face or a plate of ice skidding
across the table of its lake. It’s almost
a scoop neck popping its cleavage or
a phone rubbing a ringtone from its wings or
a door slamming shut in the wind
when it would rather have whispered instead.

It’s almost a pillow shedding its down or
a dog dozing in my empty house or
a pot plant that has withered in the desert
of forgotten. It’s almost impossible
to define but it has moved in for good
and keeps its wine in the fridge, beside mine.

Julia Stothard lives in Surrey and works at Royal Holloway University of London. Her poems have appeared in various publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, South, London Grip and Dempsey & Windle competition anthologies.

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