I am carving your initials into my chest
shedding oak in your name, mahogany heavy.
I am beside you with skin like saw dust
skin is saw dust.
Neck braced with trunk, stiff – like the first time.
Burning bark under duvets.
For all the times we lay in silence thinking of walks,
of holding hands, unable to move, I am wooden and smell
of forest floor.
Close – next to you. So warm, so campfire,
here to burn my hairline splinters – good enough to frame.
My branches wilt at the core of you, small furnace –
my roots curl on your toes – my everlasting heat.
Sophie is a poet and a performer from London. She has performed her poetry at festivals and theaters like Secret Garden Party, Boom Town, Green Man Festival, and The Roundhouse, and her poetry has been published in Magma, Rising, The Morning Star, Popshot and is forthcoming in The Rialto.
“I wrote the poem ‘Wooden’ in response to prompt by David Clarke in which we were asked to imagine waking up to find ourselves made of a strange material. In this poem I imagine waking up to find myself wooden, the feeling one gets after an argument with a lover, a feeling of being unable to move, stiff with rage. The love explored in this poem is both dangerous and passionate, and I hope conveys the conflicting emotions experienced in a relationship.”