The night my life began was not the night I was born.

I had fallen asleep in the grip of that pox which almost all children catch; my face swollen and hot, finding no relief in cool sheets or in the hand and voice of my father. He had stayed long after the doctor came and went , stayed to repeat reassuring things and to draw my fingers away from my body when I might have scratched. The frustration of my hands above the sheets, while my skin writhed beneath, slowly exhausted me. I wept and thrashed my legs and closed my eyes.

That sleep was heavy and troubling, but seamless was my move from oblivion to sitting up against my pillows, and looking into the courtyard beyond my bedroom.

I saw the small flashes of silver in the moonlight, quick and perfect as fish in a night sea, a waking dream that drew me from my bed. Continue reading “Orison”

Summer Demons

Bring summer demons rushing down

Twine them ’round your midnight crown

Toothy leers and crimson frowns

Their smoky tails your seamless gown

Bring summer demons to the heights

Above melodies and city lights

Coloured masks wink bold and bright

As misplaced stars in festive skies Continue reading “Summer Demons”

Kisses in the Dark

Never call for me, o temptress fair

Of face and breath as summer air

But in shadow keep a nightime song

A lure to your warmth, that I walk on

My secret and my treasured shame

Lie in your hair and in your name

Beneath the streetlamps’ fading glow

I love to kiss you in the shadows

© 2013 Elizabeth Cook