Poems and Poetry

Alchemy | A Poem by Marie MacSweeney

In a scrunch of white sand we filter silica.

We tinder our hopeful fire into a scorching furnace,
scatter grains within its wayward flame.

You take a pipe, dip into the fever, pick up molten lovemusic for us.

You cool the singing notes on the cold marble I prepare.

They harden on the outside while the inside melts.

You blow the music outwards into a bubbling symphony.

Before you face fire again I ask if you’ll roll the new bubble
over my confetti of multi-coloured petals.
You turn away, saying you have no time for frit.

I attempt to spread blue, yellow and pink powders along your path.
You avoid them too, insisting you wish to make
something clean and clear, like starlight.

You sip the water I offer to slake your thirst.

You use a jack to shape our fused forms over a paddled base.

I ask if I can tweeze out the outline of your lips
but you place a diamond shears in my hand
so that I can fashion the plinth
while you pester our bubble
into the shape of us.

Later you transfer all to a cooler oven.

Tempered like that, our two selves will not crack.
We will step out into the world, splendid and sharp as obsidian.

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