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Cells 1

The ultrasound gleans
rib-light and coral fingers;
your heart a quick fish.


Cells 2

Then I cut my thumb
and the bowl blooms poppy heads
blown with oxygen.


Cells 3

A chrysalis dreams
of yellow petaled sun-flares
arcing through darkness.


Cells 4

We lived on berries,
rabbits, thaw-water, the month
of the explosions.


Cells 5

News of the virus
blew eastwards as starlings swerved
and shimmered at dusk.


Cells 6

Tender to the end,
you squeeze my heart, sopping blood
in a pickling jar.


Cells 7

This diver is breath
and muscle, her hips turn foam,
her fingers ripple.


Cells 8

Last correspondence:
three pitted, friable scabs
in see-through packets.

Cells 9

The x-ray reveals
a fine snow across my lungs.
Catch how my breath rasps.


Cells 10

Dewfall, a morning
of webs quivering clotheslines:
late summer longhand.


Cells 11

Redwoods survive fires
the way we’d like to outlive
pain: old heart, new skin.


Cells 12

This soft, dark planet
spins slower round my body
as I near forty.


The sequence of haikus responds to watercolours painted by Paul Evans. You can read about the exhibition (it was shown at the Cuploa Gallery last year and a version of it will be shown in Scunthorpe's Art Centre later in the year) - on Chris Jones' website (


[Chris Jones teaches creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University. His first full-length collection, The Safe House, appeared with Shoestring Press. The sequence, Miniatures, appeared with Longbarrow Press in November 2007.]

Copyright © 2008 by Chris Jones, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.