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.