Chrysalid Truths

Chrysalid Truths
Hester J. Rook

You are like wine
sipped under light unspilled from balconies, or
savoured from cupped glasses, seasoned with glitter, or
found hidden at the end of fairylit paths,
among the sounds of birds and fecund orange trees, or
from deep in the shadows of mammoth bones.

Our fingers are twisted through glass stems and breeze-cold evenings and
we slip
through the city pockets and into dark rooms and
to each other’s heartbeats.

To kiss you is to breathe, you
are air – air and scent, huffing and
lipbitten and
inhaling, neroli and cloves and cardamom.
Our fingers weave and you kiss
the mole on my throat and I feel your lips
and curve.

In the long and longing dark
we are beasts in the shape of girls
wolf-whiskered and selkie-tailed and toothful,
imprinted against the night and the jasmine sky
moons about our necks as though that might
help our

We walk hand in hand through vine-trussed
larger than rooms
chewing on almonds and olive rinds and split
lips and the breeze across our changing skins.
There is divinity stretched
across our tongues, under
the climbing roses and the lemon tree, earth
under our boots and between our toes
and we are lengthened and changed and become
under the beckoning stars.

You are beautiful in the night and
soft, devil-soft,
lupine and fang-tipped and beautiful
and I am monstrous as the sea and the sky-pulled tides
salt across my teeth
and everything is nose and air and breath and fluttering
our senses engorged in the dark.

I marvel
at our moon-touched skins and
the way you take my hand and unfurl me
with your comet eyes
and you and I and we are new and
odd and strange and

for now


Hester J. Rook is a Rhysling Award and Australian Shadows Award shortlisted poet and co-editor of Twisted Moon Magazine. They are often found salt-scrunched on beaches, reading arcane tales and losing the moon in mugs of tea. Find Hester on Twitter @hesterjrook and read more poems and fiction at