In Light

Honey, I think that to say is in light.
(At Night the States, Alice Notley)

Tonight, the bellied arcs
bear pearls.
The borrowed luminescent studs
of drowning ferris wheels
flare and unfold black upon herself.
I walk, name you, beneath,

join to you, at these, our blacker necks,
in pauses
that partner
and with it utter darkness
left here to raise these turns above my head.

I am wrong-footed under these mock celestials.
Foot-wronged. Shod with deer-hooves
dancing this little city path
with the sniff of bins. Your musk
in my musk, in the musk of all musks.
In this streetnight I give you

my musk above all musks
mingled with the slow city black.
They say I have lost my way,
They do (do they ?)
I cannot name them
or write your name

over those reels in
back head watching your teeth
in grape dregs
your elbow cinema row
black empty cavity –

gape gape cinema Sunday,
those nights are taking me
talking the words from me
talking the words from me, tonight,
mouthing, from me, silent impermanence



Helen Pletts ( (Instagram @helen.pletts) Working collaboratively as Word & Image by Pletts & Berger with illustrator Romit Berger, since 2011 (published exclusively online by Helen’s poetry was consecutively shortlisted for Bridport Poetry Prize 2018 and 2019, longlisted for The Rialto Nature and Place Competition 2018, longlisted for the Ginkgo Prize 2019. ‘The plane tree entertains the circus of doves’ won the Ink Sweat & Tears Pick of the Month in March 2019.

Romit Berger: “I am a graphic designer. I met my very dear friend, Helen Pletts, in Prague, several years ago. Helen’s inspiration has led my graphic design career into that magical realm which combines illustration and poetry, and our creative wings continue to connect our souls through time and distance.”