1... Places I have unexpectedly found joy.

When I was no longer a daughter / one consumed the other until the binding burned bad blood and our bodies as mother and daughter were buried on opposite sides of the horizon / I indulge in this orphaned state / the vacuum of your mothering allows me to build a shrine to those who spill honey freely

When I was no longer free / thunderbolt in my belly we grew together / pieces of me shatter when you are in black and white / they are boxed beneath old baby grows, scans, locks of your first curls, your first tooth, pictures of the days we were brave together / you hold the shattered parts of me in place / though I can’t see it, in your eyes I am perfect

When I was no longer yours / the hammered ring tossed into running water with lack of ceremony / praying it will sink beneath the silt and tarnish quickly / a warning to the others / he is broken, I am broken / dreams are rot / you will easily splinter / when I stretch my skin only hits the air / I am delighted to find you gone

2... The Human Brain Runs on About 20 Watts of Electricity &
the grass has never been greener than this
the smell of pencil shavings takes me back
                                                                  to good places
                                                                  & sad endings
                                                                  like the end of
I can play this out again and again on the cracked ceiling just a hand span away from my nose
                                                        watching the devil this close
                                                        with paint tin lid eyes

this breath feels like the first one
I destroy the next with rose petal smoke
                                                       dragon tongues lick the soot
                                                       guarding treasure in the grate

the walls become
a cathedral
a jade ring

we are wed under the treehouse
the drunkards outside our choir
a ringing telephone our vicar
we are gathered into one
slow vibration
the grass has never been greener than this

Sophia Murray is 10% witch, 10% poet and 100% a mother. She is also not very good at Math so writes poetry instead. She has been published in various anthologies by Blood Moon Poetry Press, Mum Poem Press, The 6ress, Bent Key Publishing and Free Verse Revolution Lit. She has also been published in online literary journals Goats Milk Mag and The Cabinet of Heed. She lives in the North of England with her husband, children and her familiar - assuming the form of a small, angry terrier - in a house on the ley lines on the hill. Her first collection will be released November 2022 from Cast Iron Poetry. You can see more information about Cast Iron Poetry here: @cast_iron_poetry. See more of Sophia's work on Instagram at @sim_poetry.