Roberta Verdant

Three Poems

I Learnt to Read Silence When I Was a Little Girl

Sometimes I worry I swallowed Briar Rose whole as a child. Grew a forest, became inaccessible. I think about growing claws. Lovers have always acted as if they’re magicians, working incantations. Or perhaps I’m meant to be the act of magic. I was like this all along. When people ask what synaesthesia is, I think: cinnamon orgasms. Removing my body hair makes me fear I am losing my power, Samson and Delilah both at once. When my period’s coming, I disappear for a while, become death. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know my great grandfather had been murdered. When I heard the story of how it happened, it was almost a relief. I learnt to read silence when I was a little girl. My aloneness is a kind of sorcery. It makes me stride. I mean everything and don’t mean it, all at once.

My Great, Great Uncles Were Spanish Horse Smugglers. They Didn’t Keep Still.

Illness lingering in my body like a half-forgotten memory, I’m looking at flight prices, idly turning over plans, possibilities. “What are you running from?” A friend asked, once. I stretch my limbs, Breathe into where the pain is. This? Not this? Who gets to say I’m running? Maybe I just like to feel the breeze behind me, carrying me forward. Maybe I just look better walking into the horizon.

Going to Bed With Leonard Cohen

My mother is in agreement with me about the sexiness of Leonard Cohen. My straight male hairdresser is in agreement with me about the sexiness of Leonard Cohen. Perhaps the world is divided into two groups of people: Those who would like to go to bed with Leonard Cohen & those who wouldn’t. (Or perhaps it isn’t).

Roberta Verdant lives in the UK. She facilitates workshops in therapeutic creativity, blogs for the Huffington Post, dances, swims and dreams. She plans to train as a death midwife.