Two poems by Christian Ward

Mussel

Every shell is dipped in night.
Place an ear against the ceramic
to eavesdrop on fox squabbles,
crows watching rubbish bags
left split open like unfinished
operations, brambles unfurling
their fruit. Humans, extras
with no dialogue. Open every
shell to reveal day – the glazed
pottery, a perfect sky. Of course,
there’s the meat: An orange muscle
on a ready-made plate. Quiet,
contemplative. I threw up the sea
the first time I tried it. Didn’t know
I was chewing its prayer.

Previously published in FEED

Portrait of myself with pitcher plant

Flies drunk with desire
admire the waxy frog throated
vase a little too much.
Abseil backwards. Land
upside down in a graveyard
while the open stomach
digests their dreams.

I pause the YouTube video,
remind myself of how
intoxicated I was on everything
you promised before
falling backwards to be digested
in the acid bath of our life.

I am a walking curtain
filled with holes. Look how
the stars shine through me.

Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who has recently appeared in Literary Yard, Open Minds Quarterly and Eskimopie.

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