The storm rolls through me as your mouth opens.
– Ian Hamilton

With my head between your hands
water dividing us,

this is another century
where you’re a witch doctor,

I need a hole passed
through my skull.

The ceiling turns to sky,
the bath’s an altar stone.

I must remember ours
is no real rain,

the strobing lamp outside
is false lightning

and when you grasp me
by the hair, it’s just to lather it.

I tilt my face until
the water makes me blind.

You step away and leave me
to the last.


Helen Mort


Helen Mort
was born in Sheffield and grew up in Chesterfield. She has published two pamphlets with tall-lighthouse press and her collection ‘Division Street’ is forthcoming from Chatto and Windus. From 2010-11, she was Poet in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. Helen is currently studying for a PhD at Sheffield University and runs ‘Spire Writes’, an open mic night in Chesterfield.