Emma Neale

Kid Gloves 

After the painting ‘White Gloves’ by Eion Stevens

She declined wine
said she was tired
asked for tisanes, teas

the words breaking open
like the glass sides
of hard sweets
or savoured like the names
of exotic locations
she’d never dreamed she’d reach
and yet now, the frangipanis, this humidity,
the scent of cardamom from latticed windows…

Of course it wasn’t the dark, russet tide
of the leaves that told us

nor the folded peaks of her hands
white as the gloves
of an illusionist,
or rare manuscripts custodian,

but the way
like a game of slow bees
creeping from their honeybox
her fingers slipped
and slipped again
from one another’s grip

as if to shield, or sound,
the shifts and murmurs
beneath the teapot’s
pregnant mound.


Author’s Note


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