Bell Girl. | Milky Teeth. | The Other Side of the Road. | & Ruins. by Elinor Clark

We pause by the crumbling pile of stone.
There’s a faded information plaque
which tells us we should stop to appreciate this ruin.
Unlike other rocks, this one means something.
There’s a picture on the board of what it used to be
resurrecting hallways and rooms in perfect colour.
I can tell you’re getting bored.
You start to fidget, edge away, say interesting
in a tone which folds finality with insincerity.
But suddenly I don’t want to go.
I look down at the board and up at the ruins
and see myself slipping through the years
with a clip clop sound
as my footsteps wander down the halls,
making their small imprint
in the well worn stone.

The Other Side of the Road.
We dance death steps between the cars
beauty in stumbling
fat feet splitting
motionless traffic

fumes are too thick but they'll
summer fermenting
the stench of kimchi
a bucket of wine
we left to rot

but when we’ve scrambled the filthy river
swerved tarmac gunk
and shuttling metal
we find the street
                                                      the same
the other side just like
                  the first
we realise

Milky Teeth.
Banging knees kept me sure that I was here,
angular joints, bone in flesh. Chewing gum,

cud then lips, lanky elasticity, resistance loops
above my head. Wrap round two wrists and

yank. Slips unbidden, tongues tugged, spilt
as milk through mouths, teats secreting

melted teeth in my dreams.

Her knee still jabs the back of mine,
bone on bone, chaffed skin

fire to fondle. But I keep it there, pressed
together, songs inside which say there must be

something more.

Bell Girl.
pealed & peeled
a clanging bell or
an orange
no potato
dull flesh
i try to remember
to forget
but have
forgotten what
you told me
suet recipes in
a flipchart book
make a
burring sound
a raspberry on the
belly of a

Elinor is a recent philosophy graduate hailing from Leeds in the North of England. She has been recently published in literary journals including The Blue Nib, Poetry Birmingham, Hamilton College's Book XI, Poetry Village and Bangor Literary Journal. She was commended in the Young Poets Network's Bloodaxe Archive challenge and shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize 2020.