content note: mention of death
Slowly, he picks a date out from the box,
its skin withered, wrinkled: a presence of past tense,
the soft glow of kept promises,
of chance meetings. Palms rub
its mottled amber, turning out
the slow beat of bodies
contracting into warmth,
each vertex and surface
sweetened toward passing:
a poetry of verb and dusk.
Tomb fruit, chewy as a toothache,
his mouth closes until its flesh returns a stone.
Peat corpse, mud gem, bog organ,
glinting the way anything dead
can easily be made to shine.
This time his hand returns to find their light
uncertain, brown orbs heavy with
the liquescence of silence and of flame.
Watch Daniel read ‘Two Dates’ here
Daniel Fraser is a writer from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. His poetry and prose have featured in: LA Review of Books, The London Magazine, Entropy, Aeon, Anthropocene Poetry, and X-R-A-Y, among others. His poems and short fiction have both won prizes in The London Magazine annual competitions. His debut poetry pamphlet will be published by ignitionpress in Autumn 2020.