Kitty Coles


The Bloody Key

He calls it love.  She thinks he must
know what love is.  She is green and thin
and has never encountered love.
He brings her flowers which turn
the air yellow with pollen.
Her mirror is masked with gold.
He appears in her doorway.
He sends her letters.  Their words
drench her head and shoulders.
She has never known such a rain of words before.

His tongue grows needles, sewing words
to her skin like ribbons.
She bows her head, slowed down
by the weight, a spectacle.
These aren’t the words he used
in his riverine letters.
He wakes her at night
to cover her in these words
and her mirror is masked by
ribbons which rustle and whisper.

Her limbs have turned to blossom.
They are covered in petals
of purple and grey,
each as small as a fingertip.
Her mouth is a flower, blooming
red and white and silent.
He has turned her mirror away.
It looks at the wall.
It has nothing to say.
He hands her a bloody key.


Kitty Coles lives in Surrey and has been writing since she was a child. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Mslexia, Iota, Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House and Obsessed With Pipework.

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