Spell Thief

Spell Thief
Hester J. Rook

A pearl, lodged between the teeth
balanced on the crown of a molar and slipping
tucked behind the lower lip
blue-grey and sheered, a choking
of beauty.

Sprigs, lengthy and splayed
in the green-grey-purples of a deep bruise
stretched along each forearm. The buds swell and unpeel
at the wrist, sweet-smelling

Roses, placed behind the eyes
a bloodshot of profusion, salt-streaked, petal-crushed
and in the very centre heart
beetle-nipped and sticky with pollen,
wide and bare.

Each hand is of cloth, bound about the fingers
until they are misshapen, a clench of woven bone and sinew
and the urge to stretch, splay,
take and release.

The belly is deep-caved and empty
dusted with curls and poured with honey
a disguising and drowning, a bathing of false gold,
a trap, entered into with open eyes
and hope on the tongue.

Down the sternum, folded into a flap of skin
burrowed into the deep place interlinked with the heartbeat
and the breath, place a hex so sweet
it floods with silver, storms,
storms like song and wait, darling, wait –

it will unfurl you.

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 https://hesterjrook.com.