3 poems by Charlie Baylis

The colour of Estefania Cabello’s death shroud

“El tiempo es tan preciado…”
Estefania Cabello

The kite swerves in the sky’s licorice cloak, tornado
twists tundra. Vietnam is burning. Distances are becoming distant
in the galaxy’s red-shift — I hold a torch to Estefania’s dreams. Her death cloud
ripples into poems below my feet. I dye her death shroud
the powder blue colour of mourning. I believe she has powers
greater than my own. I don’t know the future.
I have already told her a number of lies.
I have already told her the day she will die.
The weather flowering in her handbag
will not survive on panic attacks.

I arrive at the audition to be her lover.
Late, the hour glass will not protect her
from he number written on her wrist – everyday grows darker.
There is a child chewing pasta shapes with hate in his heart. He vows
to explode rainbows. There are six ways to suffocate in a tight space.

Oxygen swishes
blank leaves
the sea-side apartment.

The mid-west is burning. Apples in my mind.
No more clouds. I want her alive. Her brother is on the phone.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
But anyway, it did.




Four tercets concerning my sister

“For inner woman see

Rebecca Perry – Pow

My sister once told me that women have no interior

but until you’ve chocked on your mojito in the Sistine Chapel
you can’t have licked Penelope of her blues.

My sister once caught my inner women
bathing with a male in the back garden (sorry, I meant: inner man).
I shone a torch around my sister’s chambers. Her eyes lit up.

My sister told me Nick Clegg has slept with ’30 of the women’,
but the same number of women have not slept with Nick Clegg.
In bed I think ‘Clegg’ (chalk pink, miss red).

My sister once took Chekhov for dinner, Liszt for dinner, Leonardo da Vinci for dinner,
Mona Lisa wore nothing below her green Gucci dress.
Her smile was so wide, I could not even imagine it.




Postcard from Seville

Estefania, I’ve drunk from the bucket of your dreams.
Green and gold birds are flying out of your ears.
Nothing last forever (except you + i). Throw
the garden away. The trees the moon spat on are sleeping.

Estefania — will you remember me — bathing in mercury?
The velvet hills are riding home on the velvet wind.
Nothing lasts forever (time is not quite ourselves).
I have searched you in mirrors of skin — in mirrors of mouth.

Sometimes there are moments when I can’t find you.
There is no light. Abraxas: a charm for an amulet.
The letters combined = 365. Still I can’t find you
there is no light — then there are darker moments.



Charlie Baylis lives in Spain. His chapbook 'Elizabeth' can be found on Agave Press. He reviews poetry for Stride. Charlie has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, the Forward Prize and for the Queen´s Ferry Press´ Best Small Fictions. He has made the shortlist for the Bridport prize. He was (very briefly) a flash fiction editor for Litro. He spends his spare time completely adrift of reality and tumbles, sporadically, here: