Blackbox Manifold

Issue 12: Beth Davyson

Suckled Lace

Top button undone, then sleeping

a chance for the creature

if it is that

blue flickering exhausted entity

It’d fit on the bone between your breasts


Never milkier, that sky

yet it remains up there

no space for anything but itself

bearing it


Ah yes, the loss of touch and with it the adhesive sense

furniture as cobweb

the clock in an arbitrary mood

elderly animals perhaps able to provide company


Pale green. The surgery you pass me through.

Childhood nightmare

glass corridor bound to disappear

slap of a skipping rope then the handles

as I fall


The option strangely palpable. Sitting one leg in

arm around your knee you reflecting

on the swans

I’ve made a mirror position

Odd in a way I’ve never done this


Night before its time and wondrous

as suckled lace between the fingers

film of banana over teeth

My goodness- a listener

slow hands on wooden animals

corroded with tears then offered up involuntarily

crouched, she lifts each one, dries it

her apron is gingham


For recovery,

a garden we all care about.

One of the roses


For someone else

keep that small glow

she’s reading so far gone

my camp mattress is a patio

not a kempt one but one she likes to see


Replaced, they are scathed and proud and ornate

neat on the lid of their battered box


Barbeque ash. I know

cracked shells of red shield bugs

hot sun, our lettuces flourishing

kitchen bench

then the reach he made

less than a second but no counting


Its not real strength, theirs

we sleep well in the same house

shining brass pan lids in a round stone pantry

vast iron range

through slitted windows

wave of boxwood trees once a maze

in the morning there is a blessed lack of insistence

it leaves the stenching buckets lighter

lets you sit stoning some plums


Still often a shock that the sky

makes no noise

eyelashes, that’s all, and a pillow

the window pulls open

no need to check if your body is still there

or in which shape


The blanket is a parachute in another life

I don’t expect you to believe me

We shake it for cherry stones

from when you were here not just imagined

Never a jolt in those hands

and your head turned straight for the hills


Every sister ruffles their hair right now

Every sister glances right at you


Take it my love take it

though yes you’re thinking of slipping

train to track not yet aware

of your invalid ticket

Recall for now just one person

who knew when not to speak

Or the smell of old bark in what used to be

an orchard, child’s stage for the birds


Could be. I recall

scuffing at the floor and complaining

late spring and coming on thirty

the faint swinging breeze

making just the right space for each word


Its possible that once the colours reseparated again

I knew them better

though only nights so still as to disturb the bats

would show me this

that or a large well tended fire with a silent tender


For god’s sake don’t remind us of stone floors

a full moon rose on a better night

more simply, when music made it easier

friends tucked their hair behind their ears

believed some story then saw it fit to dance


Nothing gained by the death march.

Nor such language.

Beneath it is a gingham apron unironed

barefeet you’ll never get the green off


The air is too threadbare to hold me

so I remain on furniture

the front door is long off

no woolly grass to hide in here

all fellow sleepers made up

Beth Davyson has always written things down but learnt more about what was going on during a Masters course in Sheffield, in 2011. She has published in Moth magazine, and the anthology A City Imagined, published by the Poetry Society. She has been working in Frankfurt for an agency translating creative work from German to English.