I pick you out on a map a year ago today
Received the blueprints for the house and traced every sliver of white with my fingers
to then be demolished
a hole within me cut clearly with a tower
chiselled by a morning choir

I am reduced to no more than an examination
stripped bare and splayed on glorified parchment
and perhaps a little girl still reaches out for a dark blue ribbon
and perhaps a spinster cranes her neck to look above again

but perhaps a hand will brush your walls
and perhaps the wall will exert equal in return
to breathe with me
respire with my very being
even if for just a second
for the same soft navy to loop around my wrist
and wave, wave you down the river

I still bow to you, but perhaps you should bow to me
and ask
‘why do you kneel for what is really only bricks and mortar?’


you will adopt her bricks and mortar that crumble
and you find debris in your court shoes ten years later
with spires etched into your skin
spring gentian pools at your ankles

always your beautiful stronghold
the walls that take you in when you first meet
to tell you of safety and longing and wanting, wanting
you will cry for her when you hear her bells sing

the flowers that seed from you make their own pilgrimage,
flanked in soft palatinate
you reach out for her countless times,
give her all you can bleed.
she will match you
she will catch you every time, every time.


By Holly Parkinson