Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2015
If I were a fish
I’d swim into your head as, waiting for sleep, you lay on your side. I’d dart from temple to temple until you felt the curve of my silver belly skim the muddy sheets of your brain. I’d stir up your silt with a flick of my tail and your lips would be as cold as mine as we chased the river’s mouth back to the sea.
And you’d watch as they hauled me up in their nets, see me swallow fistfuls of air before they laid me on a marble slab and the cold stilled my gills. You’d turn away as their knife slit me open like a letter. And when they dropped me into the yellow froth of butter, I’d cry out as my flesh hissed in the heat of the pan, my translucence evaporating but you wouldn’t hear. You’d sip your wine with your fork still in your hand, tell them I tasted of mud.
Laura Scott’s pamphlet What I Saw was published by Rialto in 2013 and won the Michael Marks Award in 2014. As part of the prize she spent last summer in Greece as the Poet-in-Residence for the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies.
The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize is awarded annually to the best poem in The Poetry Review by a poet who had not, at the time their work appeared, published a collection. It is funded through the generosity of the Dearmer family in honour of the poet Geoffrey Dearmer, who was a member of The Poetry Society.
134 The Poetry Review