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Verge 2013: Becoming

FAMILY HISTORY

Hannah Clinton

We were Rajasthani princesses

with winter-white faces and freckled noses:

she an inherited flower press

and I a pony-kneed girl and a grin.

We had Space Jam afternoons,

Wild West Mountain nights and

dreams of pastel streets and asphalt

as smooth and enticing as

royal icing before the bite.

Streets to graze my knees

streets to pull pin-pricks of blood

from the stretched canvas of my skin –

heat-struck shimmering seasons

sugar and butter        turned to grit and turps

but I was a young girl

painted with small brushstrokes –

my mother’s marzipan mouse

pink sugar nose

squeaky shoes

chocolate whiskers –

tidy brushstrokes, tiny stitch marks;

I collect

the sound of your shoes in the night.

Footsteps to melt into my dreams

footsteps so much my own

I thought

you were the beating of my sleepy heart.

Verge 2013: Becoming

   by Peter Dawncy and Camille Eckhaus