Charlotte Cosgrove

Rising Flesh

I opened my eyes as it pricked my lip - 
A needle in a juicy haystack.
My phone was ringing.
What for, no one can remember.
With that jolt I asked them to stop,
Not to put the metal in.

I left nearly the same as I went in
Except for a Lilliputian sized dot of a hole 
Upon my face.

But actually this is not how it went.
In truth I left with a piercing 
Through my lower lip. 
It was penetrated, regardless of the ringing,
Through gristle.

Later, I put a ring through 
Like a wedding band that married 
The in to the out.

One day I bit down, too hard.
The circular gold puncturing into 
Fatty flesh that swelled 
Until it folded around, eclipsing the gold - 
Rising like yeast to dough. 

Sometimes we don’t know a warning is a warning
Until it is too late. 

On the Balcony

From the balcony I see you - Peek-a-Boo
Or I think I do, or I want to.
I close my eyes, breathe in
(Like they do in the movies)
And then search the streets below with my gaze
You’re not there.
I know that really.
But I think that man with that jacket could be you.
Maybe you walked into that coffee shop on the corner - 

Right now they’re serving you.
You’re getting out your wallet 
The one that used to hold my photograph.
And as I’m standing on the balcony thinking this now
Will you rub your finger, ever so delicately,
Across the clear pouch where my face used to smile up at you
And remember.

Late Night Walks in the Garden

I have a habit
Of unlocking the back door late at night
Walking barefoot
Letting the grass soften under my skin.
He always shouts me back in from the window.
But I can drown him out now,
I’ve had practice.
I look straight ahead in the soft darkness
Where the trees and bushes have overgrown,
I ignore the sides, fenced up, fenced in.
I want to keep walking away,
Keep going 
Charlotte Cosgrove is a poet and english lecturer from Liverpool, England. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in print and online. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Rough Diamond Poetry Journal. Charlotte's first book Silent Violence with Petals is available now with Kelsay Books.

Twitter: @CharleyAustin89

Flights, Issue Six, September 2022