Zelda Chappel – three poems


There are parts of us that still smell like her.
On a back street in London we find places
to remember. At dusk, I’m a five rupee note
between your thumb and forefinger, moth
wing thin, breathing in the Nepalese dust
and monsoon rain alternately. In Shadwell
we recall the roof we sat on eating momos
drinking lemon tea, say nothing. When I
kiss you, it’s all I can taste. Going home
I long for coloured silk and gilded rayon,
ache for static and weighted air. We give up
our silver easily as the N15 jolts us home.


Tell me again how I cannot wear their stains
make wings dust-soft, precise, mere shadow.

I want to be your copper but you see only
earth. I know you’ll never change your mind.

In the dark, I still crave the sun. I’m frantic
with my search at times, can’t help but pound

the air frustrated. You’ll laugh but still I long
to nestle amongst your soft things, lie dormant

build casings in your pockets for weeks, pick
your threads. I imagine your unravelling

like a carousel’s spin. I cannot leave my word
so I leave holes for you to stitch, my scent.

I want you to know me. I’ll bide my time.

On being lost

Not against the loss itself but the phrasing
that makes me careless, you misplaced

and the words that make it seem as if you
might be found one day, might yet return

might yet appear between the grass guided
home by the petrolled wings of magpies

forked tails of martins, sea sounds echoing
through these four walls and windows

that I might yet feel foolish for knowing
that wherever you are lost, I am too

that the ashes we gave the ground mean
nothing, nothing concrete at all.

Zelda writes, often on the backs of things. Her work can be found in several publications both online and in print including Popshot, Obsessed with Pipework, Lampeter Review, HARK and The Interpreter’s House. Her debut collection, The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat was published by Bare Fiction in July 2015.  She tweets, sometimes a little too often, as @ZeldaChappel


One thought on “Zelda Chappel – three poems

  1. Robert Nisbet August 6, 2015 / 9:12 am

    I really enjoyed all of these: the sensuousness of all of them, the wit of ‘Moth’, the charge of controlled emotion in the other two.

    Liked by 1 person

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