Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

the gold is punches
or the gold lean comes from so
much gore. the heat
down in our heels. the chase. play
what is beautiful it is childlike.
we break for what is
ugly, for lunches, boats caught
at this point in another lake.
for turtles, birds’ bills. golden mornings
from the train & my mouth purple
from all the falling over

the water in my lips.
& here it is not the root,
the first of it. we were not moving
when you hit us but moving from the first
punch. she said home is where they say duck
like hook, like come here & here i am
rotten wood, knees again. i can’t feel them
don’t worry i mean we’re golden
like the gold smudged inside your eye.

by Charlotte Geater

Our 2018 International Poetry Competition is still open for entries – until 6 August! The competition has two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language – and this year is judged by the highly-acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi. You can find full details and enter here .

‘Mandarin Duck’ is copyright © Charlotte Geater, 2012. It is reprinted from Birdbook II: Freshwater Habitats (Sidekick Books, 2012) by permission of Sidekick Books.

Notes from Sidekick Books:

Charlotte Geater grew up in Ipswich, moved to Oxford for university, and now lives in London. Charlotte was a submissions editor for online magazine Pomegranate, and has previously been published in The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Stop/Sharpening/Your/Knives (3) and (4). You can find her on Tumblr and on Twitter.

Sidekick Books is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative poetry press run by Kirsten Irving and Jon Stone. Started in 2009 by the ex-communicated alchemist Dr Fulminare, the press has produced themed anthologies and team-ups on birds, video games, Japanese monsters and everything in between. Sidekick Books titles are intended as charms, codestones and sentry jammers, to be dipped into in times of unease. You can follow Sidekick’s work on the press’s website and via Twitter.

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