The 21st Century

where milk rains on sheep
the colour of snow & black
ice. i exited stage left
& right but couldn’t find
my way down to
you were kulning on hillsides
asphalt inside your shoes.
i wasn’t supposed to hear you.
your sheep ate thatch
from roadside shacks
until the whole city
was gone. hands
still organic rotting
in the fields
until a scientist can fix
what’s wrong with the code
that’s changing me.
my eyes are big grains. i whirr
inside a stuck watch. you sing

those unwords again
the sheep in my throat
come crashing across the rocks
this time. my stink of old rain.
i told you i’d write.
the ink barely shows on camera.
i slipped on a patch of ice
& fell thirty feet. the sheep
sunk down in their mud
& dreamt of hay.
hey where’s a trapdoor when you need it?
you shake the milkpan until a shape / this is
curds of hillocks / herds of
standing in an old ditch
a box of junkshop postcards
one hunk of cheese
the length of your hand






a fall. long before any pain. my other
ear is silent & glitters
wanting you to whisper iced tea

kisses / cracked walnut shell
my bloody ear in regular recital.
will the sleeper stop the leak.

bloodless this summer, wishing, i understood:
bloodletting as relief from trapped heat
having had so much redacted

i wonder about the addition of cold things
to balance the blood bank
another handful of silver earrings

will you sharpen a new piece of jewellery
crossed blades on my belly
spin backwards, summer ashes red

the fuzzy skin blushes & sweats
for tall glasses of ice and soda.
i prick my finger on each new stud.

let me tease out / a lab-grown confection
where did these burns come from
electric weather inside looking for

spires. dusting the green sky
iris clouds / another hatpin, stainless
a salt crystal at one end tastes

the way blood multiplies in rounds
(an old excavation, and not much was found)
when the heart wills it. our gemstone faces.



[Charlotte Geater is based in London and has previously been published in Hotel, Spamzine, and Erotoplasty. She won The White Review Poet’s Prize in 2018.]

Copyright © 2022 by Charlotte Geater, 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.