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This Good Day


On this good day, the heating
comes on in the kitchen.
I can cook slowly now.
Today, my aubergine
is absolutely seedless,
stunning. I empty the bin
with pleasure, imagine
my housemates’ relief.
And last night, I dreamt
I followed you ashamed
before you turned and gently
took my forearm
between your teeth
and I was filled – in dream,
in waking – with joy.


New Hands

In these pale hands, a tinge
begins, a softening: blood
filling veins the way

dried gullies fill
when a dam breaks.

And what was dead
has life again; hands
that have touched
will touch again.

These hands will learn once more
how to do up shoelaces and tie ties, how to
button and unbutton shirts.

And he will learn the lengths
of his new fingers, learn the span
of his palm. He will earn himself
new calluses.

Now, if he cuts these hands, the blood
will be his own, though the hands

hold on – still – to the heat
of a woman’s lower back, they hold on
to coming off a bike at night
and skidding, skinless

down the concrete street of a town that he knows
like he knows his own knuckles, although
he has never been there.


Emily is from Oxford and is studying English at York University.

This Good Day was published on York Mix and won the Helen Cadbury Award in the York Literature Festival Poetry Competition, New Hands was previously published in the Tower Poetry Anthology 2016.

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