Perse Studio

Independent-learning super-curriculum projects: reading, research and ideas shared by Perse students


By Alice K – L6

A poem by Alice K which is being submitted to the Tower Poetry Competition


We watch over one another. Everyone knows it. Our blinded fisheyes slide past people

We cannot leave unseen.                 “Good morning, Sebastian!

How your ivy shines.” He prunes away, glossy, jealous jade leaves falling

Snipped like dead hair, littering, watering our pavement – the smeared smile and her Samoyed

Saunter on. Everyone knows. We walk along concrete veins that pulse with

Us. We are the blood that feeds this body of a town.

Yet, she hides behind that barrier, a narrow spit of aqua; burnished

Oil-slicked:                            “Flotsam spruced up,” we hiss.

Blazing in line with our slate-grey doors like wet stones, the sigh of fresh rain on charcoal

Sandpaper-licked, burnt by passing gazes

Among them the blue blockade opposes us all – solitary, sweeping

Like a drop of black ink in the clearest sea

She is the clot in the Victoria vein. She chokes us all.

We clutch at our throats that she scorches like liquor:                           “God! Please lurk no longer,

Let us breathe!”                 “Come out from your safe house, your shelter,” we rasp

It isn’t a prison. The uniform houses squeeze, compress

Our hands crush the cabochon thrown in amid our diamonds. Everyone knows.

One day she must gasp for air – let us release our sighs and our whispers

Oh! The


of the bronze butterfly sleeping on its solid sky is heard;

Like blood cells we swarm to the open wound

Like sharks to a drop of blood in our ocean. The turquoise shield has split to reveal


She is blazing. A timeless sun among dying stars.

Even in stillness, in silence – she is fluid. Glazed eyes breathe her in; deeply, HUNGRILY

Our starving souls crave her like phantoms chasing vapour

Ash collecting in our tarnished mouths. Her lithe frame enveloped by the black trench

Stabbing crimson heels cut us, scrape our walls

Unfathomed:                       “Let us drink, let us drink!” we scream

Tongues singeing; longing to taste the mirage of waters that flow behind her closed door

To lap it up like dogs in a blistering desert.

The waterfall of blood torrents down her back, framing the face as white as sleet

She is crystalline. The opaque gaze watches us watching her

A flickering flame entrapped in an iris:                         “How the devil tempts!” An alcoholic heart

Clogged with glutinous pursuit, burnt breath

The unrelenting door stitches up its mask. The virus is released

Her heels hurt, skipping fresh cuts in our veins – a silent mutation, undesired

Untouchable. No one knows.                          “Why does she hide?” we whimper. “Oh let us be cured!”

Her secrets will not leak into our capillaries.

The caressing wisps of poisonous fingertips trace our unburnished doors

An extracellular graze; our skin splits

We spill out

it is our blood.                     “Fight! FIGHT –“

We wonder if Daphne may kill us all.

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