Carol Watts


A golden dome, so dry, so hot.

How close to incendiary blaze.

Finding the need to stockpile, draw together ancient stores.

An old larder full of coats, with a white door.

I hide us behind it.

When seas rise, orient wheat on fire, we’ll have nothing more.

But a door to float on, and pickling jars.

English forays, mustiness tricked out as future opportunity.

All those fears preserved, with mustard seed, the shapes of organs.

Turning golden brown.

Yes and a lasting accompaniment to any prime cut.

Good at vestiges, dreams of entitlement sucking out all the air

from others, then taken in so elect and glorious.

Hup. Breathe that elect and delusional.

Life. It’s smoking now.

So dry, so hot.

Carol Watts has published a number of chapbooks and collections, most recently When Blue Light Falls (Shearsman, 2018) and Dockfield (Equipage, 2017). She is Professor of Literature and Poetics at the University of Sussex.