Phlegmatic | Fay Musselwhite
She rattles her choked ribs
up from graffitied streets,
where sentences that roam market walls
and hoardings round stored land
read like the stale breath of banked air,
to where spray won’t be penned,
paint finds no purchase,
and claims spelt out in mass footfall
proved heartier than purse or word.
Here at the wet-lashed gape
of this caged lung she hears it:
bluster and fall, trickled whisper
to broad throated roar;
feels its spit brush her,
stroke her clear.
‘Phlegmatic’ appears in Fay Musselwhite’s debut collection, Contraflow (Longbarrow Press, 2016). Click here for further information and to order the book.
Click here to listen to Fay Musselwhite reading this poem on the banks of the River Rivelin, Sheffield.