D’Angelo – Two Poems


The Post-it night fits neatly
in its perfect yellow square.
Yellow not like American cheese
but a decommissioned coal mine
coughing up canaries.

It’s the archaeology of layers
that’s the most surprising:
A rubbing of a self portrait
revealing your great grandfather
smiling at you. The family cat
carrying a perfect copy of van Gogh’s
The Starry Night in its fur.
Your favourite song encoded
onto a blackbird’s feather.

The train sashaying its hips
against the enormity of the horizon
does so because it wants
to test the limits of pressure.

Whatever bounces back
comes through the windows
to pin you in the moment.
Embrace the pressure framing you,
be more than thinning sediment
holding layers together like cheap glue.

Losing Tattoos Like The Final Minutes Of Twilight

After Fiona left, your tattoos dwindled like the final
minutes of twilight. First, the swallows on your knuckles

flew away, remembering how she spoke to crows
and danced with them like Fred Astaire. Then the letters

of her name on your chest dissolved, staining
the t-shirt she loved to smell. It reminded her of Brighton,

of times running into the sea to feel like a mermaid.
You lost the skull and bones on your ankles to a biker

mistaken for Captain Kidd, the blackbird in an oak tree –
done on the acreage of your back – collapsed

into folds of fat after the last of her things were loaded
on the van. Only the heart on your left bicep remained,

stinging at the slightest touch as if an arrow secretly
slid into its core, snug with your trembling, bird-like pain.

‘Perspectives’ and ‘Losing Tattoos Like The Final Minutes Of Twilight’ were commended and specially mentioned respectively in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2021) judged by Rachel Long.

D’Angelo lives and write in London, United Kingdom.

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