Skin to Skin by Clare Robson

Crying Tears by Clare Hansford Words by Carmen Marcus

My world has shrunk
to here and now.
I curl around you;
outsideness is a skin
between us.

I hear playground voices rise and fall,
children detached Apollo-like from the Mothership
floating on swings and seesaws,
defying gravity.

I curl tighter,
breathe your milkiness,
wrestle with the functionality
of breasts
that are yours,
alien, twin lunar landscapes,
luminescent at 2am, at 4, at 6 –
charting our voyage,
our ebb and flow,
as I wash on your shore.

I have birthed you
but our labour of separation and survival
has only just begun.

Clare Robson is a mother and works as a teacher. She writes with the Cullerpoets group and attends the Stanza spoken word event in Newcastle each month. Clare lives by the sea with her husband and a collection of animals.

Artist Statement on Crying Tears by Clare Hansford

Chameleon, Zig graphic and Posca pens on paper.

This drawing is a description of the overwhelming love you feel for your baby. A time that feels emotional and surreal. A strange grief for your old life balancing on the brink of immense joy for the new one.

Author: Carmen Marcus

As the daughter of a Yorkshire Fisherman and Irish Mother, my writing brings together the visceral and the magical. My debut novel #How Saints Die was published with Harvill Secker in 2017. It won New Writing North's Northern Promise Award as a work in progress and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize in 2018. My poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, The Royal Festival Hall and Durham Book Festival. As a child of an 80s council estate I am an advocate for working class writers and stories. I’m currently working on my first poetry collection The Book of Godless Verse and my next novel. I try to live up to the words of my first critic and primary school teacher ‘weird minus one house point.’

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