I walked in the garden
under planets and streetlights
            between streetlight and
            flower strung
                                  between elements
between the streets converging

a rose does not know
            it is a rose
the city
does not know it is a rose
            the city opened

I unfolded myself
through lines of symmetry
                                 the  hidden
asterion star flower
punctured the dark
                                 life of

its root skeins stretched over sky
             as satellites bloomed around
                                     the world

The Gothic-Romantic Quarter

Nights when it’s dark enough for stars
            the sky unpolluted
                                               we come here  
                                               with our worn-out stares
                                        tiny on the banks of the river

            wanting to speak in spires and towers
                                   to hear the rattle of uneven tiles
                        against our teeth

the buried kings and queens
                                   their stone mouths suspended
                                                                    stare warnings

in narrow streets
clusters of leaning roofs
in crevices

                                                the shadows piling up
                                                            at each step’s echo

while architecture presses in like thunder
                                    the ink-sheen of the sky

held up by every arch
                                    clawing higher
                                            to another arch
                                                        we climb stairs of worn stone

The Historic Quarter

in the green-papered chamber of memory
                even the dirt is historical
    museum faces swim
round this aquarium
        over and above the artefacts
                the past looks back
at you
        they fired
            at clocks to stop

the day
        its face spun out in
webs of solar flare
            cycles of hands

coming round
    again the same day ticks closer

        between then and now
                you cross the line of fire

write over battles in relief
            the truth in sediments

* first published in New Welsh Review

zoëskoulding's third collection, Remains of a Future City, will be published by Seren in 2008. She currently holds an AHRC fellowship at Bangor University, north Wales, where she is undertaking practice-based research in contemporary poetry and urban space. She founded the literary magazine Skald in 1994 and co-edits it with Ian Davidson, with whom she has also written a book of collaborative poetry, Dark Wires (West House Books, 2007). From 2008 she will be taking up editorship of Poetry Wales.  Her cross-artform collaborations include Parking Non-Stop, a recording and performance project combining poetry with music and experimental soundscape.

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