Hélène Demetriades – Familial intimacy

Familial intimacy

I crush lavender buds under your nose –
you open your mouth like a baby bird.

You sleep with eyes wide, gaze turned in.
I see into depths without being checked.

I rock with you on the panting rhythm
of your breath. We are chugging to your death.

On day three, your eyes break the surface,
your lips flex. I lean in to connect with you.

You’re hopeless! you hiss.
You are the death adder, Acanthophis.

I flee your bedside. You slip back
into your body’s fevered decoupling.

(first published in Envoi)


Hélène is a practising psychotherapist living in South Devon. She has been published online and in print magazines and anthologies, including Envoi, Obsessed with Pipework, The Curlew, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Ofi Press, Snakeskin, Eunoia Review and Allegro.   She was highly commended in the Marsden Poetry Village Competition 2019 judged by Patience Agbabi.


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