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2 poems by Alice Wickenden

The Crack

There is a crack in the pavement

reaching tendrils like trees

into the sky.

I stepped on the wrong concrete slab,


whole days ago

now & before me the shuddering

bird flies into crack

in the horizon

aeroplane snaps into crack

in sky

nouns in crack slither

(fall back saying sorry)

then adjectives & verbs &

(sorry sorry sorry)

ephemera II

Now you have left all I have is

a bookmark from the place you buy

your books. I feel sick with jealousy:

that there are shops, out there,

with you in them, running your fingers

down their spines, making them

tremble. I let it mark my place &

guide me to where you are: not here

but in the world, not this page

but another. Under no covers but your own.


Alice Wickenden is a PhD student and poet. She tries to live her life by Robert Hass's line:

'maybe you should write a poem about grace'. Her cat is called Cordelia; it's a test to see

whether you think of Buffy, Brideshead Revisited, or King Lear.


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