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Alice Tarbuck



This is morning and nothing to do with it. Leaven! Heave

and hum. In simple language, levant, orior.

Pearlash morning,

potash dawn: ooze




fertilise. Inland seas are bellies with no child. Saltwater soap

suds in the sea and so, and so, clean sailors can be born.


A mother is a corset. A mother is a sea with no wave.

A mother is feldspar moment,



and birthed of magma.

Under weather, it produces

clay-shaped daughters, kiln-creatures,

all brittle glaze,

all egg-wash,

underwear, and brandy. Baths that bankrupt the water tank,

smoke that unlatches the window,

sniggers in the rowdy desert which is rich

in everything but precipitation.


Clay sucks the wet out of everything and gifts

a dry lick of dust. Deserts are children with no mothers.

Deserts are a type of waiting.

Deserts are good enough for observatories,

And occasional flowering.

Alice Tarbuck is an academic and poet working in Edinburgh. Her first pamphlet, Grid,  is published by Sad Press.

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