how fish survive in winter
the lights of calais line up like egg yolks across the channel
and it looks like it’s raining in france We are pretending
we are waiting for a boat and I know you
find it impossible to remember the feeling of cold
when you’re not Do you know electricity
works differently in different countries and for a moment
I can’t say what’s wrong with this
It’s summer here
but not everywhere You shut your eyes
to let that red warmth drift
and I study for the twitch as patterns form
and swim in your non-vision It is in these moments
I think you know how it feels to exist
in the denseness of four degrees c
An Argument on White
My sister knows a thousand words for white,
new words learnt for new houses,
borrowed words to house new whites.
Not borrowed, but stolen
for stealing is to strip the object of its meaning
and ivory becomes no more than a wall colour.
Alabaster or tallow, echo or a welcome pale,
her things are no such colours,
merely the colours of
when the things exist at all.
She wouldn’t even touch the dirty white
of our Grandma’s ivory brooch.
But sister, you should be no stranger
to the re-housing of colour
every word you write is stained with it.
Did you not once tell me
you see every number as a colour,
and every day of the week?
Tell me, sister, what colour is our name?
It is the colour of the leaves on poinsettia
but remember, sister, it is no longer your name.
Jo Surzyn lives and works in Norwich where she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of East Anglia. Her work has appeared in Lighthouse Literary Journal.