Unearthly Languages

I was fluent in the music of the spheres
but it faded. So I salvaged one note

and kept it under my tongue
to fuel my first breath.

After my birth, I broke that note into colours
with which to see the world —

our home, where I was locked
in the cellar of myself.

The door has a leash hanging from it,
with little bells that shiver,

the way frost tinkles on a starry night.
Then the door clicks open and I go out

and stand naked
while snowflakes melt on my skin,

like the words of a lost language.


Pascale Petit's new poetry collections are The Huntress (Seren, UK) and a prizewinning chapbook The Wounded Deer - Fourteen poems after Frida Kahlo (Smith/Doorstop, UK), both published June 2005. She was selected in 2004 as one of the Next Generation Poets.