Two poems by Zelda Chappel


It’s the ways our tongues get folded, stealing
away my speech. It’s open mouths writing

letters, lipped words placed softly in ears
precisely. It’s shadows that aren’t what they

used to be and my fetish for transcendence.
It’s easier. These days it’s slipping through

flesh which we know can be done in silence.
It’s knowing this is not how you’ll have

imagined it. It’s not dark except for the door
we’re caught behind and my room’s heavy

curtains hung drawn, sad, apart for more than
mere sunlight. It’s glass making a show

of transparency while I learn the ways to be
opaque. It’s shrinking as you fill the space

I leave between my skin and bone. It’s waiting
for you to cover me, your skin a fine-spun web.
(previously published by Bare Fiction, July 2014)
Girl in the dog-tooth coat

The last of you was seen wandering the hills

a few weeks later, your red hair loose and wild
flung in every direction. I thought you might

be looking for sky. I didn’t tell on you though,
don’t worry, I kept your secrets sewn inside

my ribs for safe keeping. Now when I walk
through slate and bog cotton I know my feet

have found your footprints, that in breathing
this wind, the song of you is almost audible.
(previously published by HARK, March 2015)
Zelda Chappel is published in, among other places, Popshot, Obsessed with Pipework, Lampeter Review, HARK and The Interpreters House. Her debut collection, The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat was published July 16th 2015 by Bare Fiction. @ZeldaChappel