A night at St Thomas’ Church, Friarmere

At first
I’m afraid of the church’s dark eyes,
thick leaded lines drawn chaotically
in illegible strokes against
dull brightness, darkness visible
within and without. I can’t enter here—

In daylight
it’s no better. A hint of rouge
on an old face, reflective, giving little away.
But this time, through stained lips I go;
a taste of something bleeding,
fractured glass swallowed whole

And then
the world seduces me from its narrowness.
Coloured irises breach the threshold, portals
between caged souls and the living, sun-grown
moor; completeness in pieces, the bones
of the wide earth fused into meaning, into
iridescence; beautifully, joyfully, broken.




Dr Emily Bell is a writer and historian, based in Loughborough, UK. She’s currently writing a new biography of Charles Dickens for Reaktion Books, and she’s been published in Ink Pantry, Wellington Street Review, and elsewhere. She tweets at @EmilyJLB.