Perimeter by Jack Emsden (Lucent Dreaming Issue 11)

Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.

we’re always pulling at our limits
the threads of our temporary bodies
temporary homes I want to patchwork
old jeans into new jeans into an ivory skirt and slip
into the sun hips swinging or strip to nothing
at all unashamed on the blow-up mattress
holding my pronouns proudly

I want to ball these binaries into a sock
and throw them off a bridge onto the motorway

several SUVs
colliding
in an accident
of laundry

I want the ability to travel in time
by approximately five minutes in all directions
adjust the angle of every scenario
extend my maps into every corner

        five minutes is all it takes       
        to understand the choices 
        we are given are not choices at all
        only a brochure of package holidays

        I want the concrete 
        mooring the fences
        guarding the perimeter
        to crack    
                open like a curtain

    What do you see?

a less than sturdy silence light from a far-off crane the sea roiling
being very brave against the rocks

I want to feel unguarded like hanging rotten fruit from your lapels
while standing in the market square an assumption of pigeons circling

sometimes it feels good to hurt like this
it’s been a while since I escaped
the circumference of a question

        to say here is a body 
        and I know it’s mine
        because I can feel it

        the swell and break of its desire
        to be a coastline          restructured 

Jack Emsden was shortlisted for the Wolverhampton Literature Festival competition 2021, and was awarded 2nd place prize in the Verve Poetry Press competition 2019. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Away with Words, Ink, Sweat and Tears, and Porridge. They host Resonance, a regular open mic night in South London.
@EmsdenJ | @jackemsden

Buy issue 11 today.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine and book publisher for beautiful, imaginative and surreal fiction, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Related posts

Issue 9 arrives!

Lucent Dreaming issue 9 has arrived at Lucent HQ and we think it’s our best one yet. Subscribe today from only £20 to purchase your

Read More »
Rana Shabibi in the spotlight Lucent Dreaming interview

Rana Shabibi in the spotlight

I wrote Mutability during the first UK lockdown in 2020, which was a time of great instability and upheaval. It was my way of processing all the disorientation and confusion around me.

Read More »