The Wake – a poem by Scott Elder

The Wake

It’s not clear
where the river begins 
     where her body ends
watery thoughts     phantoms  
meeting only to part 

a looseness expanding
as stars might deepen—
     one empty breath at a time—
to fill a winter’s sky
ave     ave

it’s not clear     
is it she or the river 
     that pulls me so?

I dip my fingers into her hair
stare into lidded eyes

a dragon lies in the depth of each
it seems to be sleeping
     dormez-vous?    dormez-vous?

a bell is ringing 

Scott Elder lives in France. His work has mostly appeared in the UK and Ireland. A debut pamphlet, Breaking Away, was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2015, his first collection, Part of the Dark, by Dempsey&Windle 2017 (UK), and the second, My Hotel, is forthcoming in Salmon Poetry 2023 (Ireland).   Website:

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