On the arm of the elm. And [ONE MORE], by Carla-Rosa Manfredino

From the limb of the leaning tree
he chopped and varnished a bench.

He couldn’t bear the way the branch
hung about to fall or grow. He

looked away when the daffodil
browned, its neck bent

like an unwanting swan. Then he
moved under the lanterns of

magnolia and when
they flattened and fell

he put them in a book

he took the bench inside
and bought a vase
of fake flowers instead.

When he was found, his head
on the table over pencils

he had been sketching
a typical garden scene

where the trellis was
caged by the ivy,

and he was buried
under the tree.

Rhos Point.
These rocks are
breaking the sea and leaves
have cracked up
in between.

You cannot force a shore
any more than the time spent
floating back
in a line
to where you were before.

After a lap comes the relapse,
you’ll unravel as the waves pull back,
over sand packed in a drum

and the hood of the storm
is never out swum.

Carla-Rosa Manfredino is from Wales and is studying for an MA at Goldsmiths. She reads for The White Review and works as a writing mentor at The Ministry of Stories