by Hattie Scott
I dress as Cinderella to blow out the candles
of a chocolate Dalek cake.
to snuff out the four waxy stars with
sugar-coated sticky breath and make a wish
which everyone choruses in delight.
We gasped as the sky caught delight,
smog in all the colours of a school disco
veiling the galactical highway of
spaceships dancing and battling across
a cosmos prickled in little campfires
that before they set out to invade would be snuffed.
Like that gown of silky moss you snuffed,
its oak boned corset draped in ashes as swatches
of autumn fabric singed the air, lint sapping
the sky so that all that remained
of that patchwork piece you grafted in your garden
were golden pearls that dripped from her warmth.
My eyes simmer in the embers of last night’s warmth,
flame-licked fingers stroke the small of my back
absorbing the damp with each tender motion like fresh tinder
on an open hearth in the early morning. I reignite the cinders
to spark something on a face bathed in the
afterglow laced with hungover smoke.
It hangs about in an ashy mist as we smoke,
chattering but hushed, so that we can strain our ears
to hear the crackling of a lighter or the soothing exhale chorusing
Thank God we don’t have to breathe this air anymore.
Our fingertips yellow, our lips a purple blue,
soot prays a spirited orange in our lungs.
I didn’t stay in the smoking area for long.
My dress was charred by the damp and my voice
drowned out by the raspy memories
that you fan, set, match
and breathe and breathe
in the embers of my afterglow.