I Stain by Caroline Hardaker

It seeps through any timeworn cloth –

this bright wine.

Listen to it, crisping, already

the middle distilling –

marking stages out, in sight.

Rings, tree rings, ley lines,

layers like hills. A map;

been here, there, here

and wherever the rag goes, a tracer

there, and here, seeping

from where the bullet met beef;

a touch away from a tenderer touch

but came to meet me anyway.

It split me.

A fine wine

listen to it, crisping, already

the middle distilling,

riven into mountains and miles

and the sea in-between.


Caroline Hardaker lives in the north east of England and earned her BA and MA from Newcastle University. Her poetry has been published worldwide, most recently or forthcoming in The Stinging Fly, Neon Magazine, Allegro, and Rat’s Ass Review. She was Pankhearst’s Fresh Featured Poet for March 2016, and is a poetry and drama reviewer for the Three Drops From a Cauldron e-zine. Her debut pamphlet collection, ‘Eye, Tongue, Machinus’ will be released with Goya Press in February 2017.

3 thoughts on “I Stain by Caroline Hardaker

  1. Pingback: I Stain – Caroline M Hardaker Writes

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