Isadora’s Familiar

A Poem

By Louise Mather


You throw feathers from the cellar,
spindled effigies, jars of violets.
You imagine a power from within.

The locket, spun around your nape,
the photograph of you and I.
Asleep, I walk through a dozen glades.

You burn oils, dust, shells of coal,
I shed to Grandmother’s book,
etched a mark on to your wrist.

Each sign, you swallow, for hope
from Carpathian mountains,
you bring the storm.

I do not dissuade,
for Isadora, I am only your familiar.
You imagine a power from within.

You think I have returned to sleep,
where rain shores to splintered talons,
the hole in the roof, for saving
smoke from the edges,
the photograph of you and I.


Dermatillomania

By Louise Mather

Your body is translucent,
like a jellyfish, a bluish glow,

sharp where sand clings to you,
You trawl the overpouring zest

of dawn
confetti, towards clouds,

the afterlight. To unburden

the harvest, you invoke –
buckets of lunar

quartz, girdling deep
to the exosphere. Over

and over, you gouge
shrapnel

with ellipses, timid blood
on fingertips,

under tongues, slick
incense, the evocative

excoriation of chains.