A night at St Thomas’ Church, Friarmere
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—
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
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.