– Mathilde Sergent



I had been living with God
eating plump fruits that gave in my hand
to no-one
my soft fealty

girl, I had desires likes waves, reaching
relentless, pushing up, their heavy roar
then falling sibylline and blue

My mother
impressed on me the importance of surrender


I have not grown white
I was not born white

but tell me you
who are the needle to my thread
do you know? What damage
imposes your impression

‘Break first
the soft outer shell
to carve into the flesh
small, spaced-out, tiny holes’

I assumed the holes were for breathing
not a leash


Now I am tall and sharp
I am my own fabric’s needle
but it is you

not me, who have shaped the clay
of this heart; who have made me doubt
and bend

No it’s you
you have made me feel
and forget
you have dirtied me—you, dog
you have bit my hand—