the first baptismal font, windswept,
sullen on a beach in June.
walking backwards to face the grey-steel sea once more,
into a trap you were determined to ignore.
drag pale child-feet heel-first
over cold sand until there is only
rockpool, then sky—
and not suddenly at all.
the ritual libation, bruisedrunk, bloomed.
we throw away the wine you brought
and I poured
and we did not drink,
abandoned next to the kitchen sink.
(there are too many mistakes in this narrative to fix—
one moment walking,
the next falling, no thought given
to what happens in between.)
(sunstreaks against flesh suggest
the passage of time, alone:
now we see a figure silhouetted, domestic.)
the bell of a glass cracks in hot suds,
should have been handled more delicately.
with closed eyes
I push both hands beneath the tide—
exit the scene
with my palms washed clean or
not clean of the blood.
SOPHIE HANSON lives in Manchester and has published poetry, fiction and non-fiction both online and in print, most recently in Litro. She works in the arts and when not working, can usually be found writing, reading or watching motorsport.
Sophie is the winner of The Signal House Edition x Write like a Grrrl 2020 collaboration. The competition was judged by award-winning poet and Write Poetry like a Grrrl course leader Jo Flynn and The Edition’s Poetry Editor Erica Gillingham. The runners-up and complete shortlist will be published in Issue #10 of The Signal House Edition in March 2021.
IRO TSAVALA is a Royal College of Art graduate, and lecturer in illustration at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. Interested in the expression of ideas through narrative, the playful relationship between words and images, and the function of the book format, her work embraces the use of found ephemera, drawing and printmaking, resulting in both playful and sometimes enigmatic imagery. Iro’s work has been exhibited at Boston Children’s Museum, Poetry Society, Somerset House, Ethnographic Museum Krakow, Bologna Children’s Bookfair, Women’s Library, Animafest Croatia, and Imagine Science Film Festival New York. Website. Instagram.
(Image credit: Sea-change, 2017, monoprint & ink collage, by Iro Tsavala, by kind permission of the artist.)