Sara Barnard

The Passion

Previously published as ‘Midweek Date’ by Bone & Ink Press

It was not a success, the lunch. Washed
hands lifted lids, broke yesterday’s bread.
Wine blackened lips. Tepid talk turned no
heads. Fish skeletons slid on silent plates.
The apples were bruised, the coffee thick.
In the golden hours behind blue walls we
played at pleasing fruitlessly. I wiped you
clean. You wiped my cheek. We betray

in the blink of a bird as it flies from the
fence. Daily, lying in the blur of the sun,
a piece of pride cracks. Did you forget
one jealous kiss changed everything?
Far better to be cowardly in love. This
is the end says your thorned mouth to
the desert that is mine, causing crows
to shrink in circles up above. There is

light, they say, in the moment a heart stops.
People return to tell of shining tunnel ends.
I saw crushed velvet, tangled trim, the leaves
of the poplars as they tussled with the wind.




There is a dampness to it.
Dirty, you might say.
Soily toed. Bits of life
fall through clinging air
to settle on cardigans.

I could go out today
to trees across the road –
sniff under branches,
prod at definitions,
poke at memories.

Of course, it’s not the scent
as such, the mushy leaves,
the puddled path,
but the swarm of conversations
out walking with a dog.

Circling dog, grass,
sky, and dripping tree.
That bit of childhood you asked for
is a damp and dappled place
between sun and snow,
the wet and waiting wood.



Winter Meeting

Today is the day of S.
For the forgetting of
some, the several-
ness of still to come.
Sex is too obvious

and spring, so I chose
savvy, sappy salad
days, salting away
your treasures by
the sherbet salina.

So long seven seas;
shivering days of
steel are left behind.
Farewell searing sun.
Goodbye to sizzling

shrinking shine.
Bring on the sleet,
spread out the snow
give me the silky calm
of i-don’t-know.

Wrap me in samite.
Eat me with saffron.
Ring the sacring bell.
Today is salubrious
for a saltus I can tell.

You seem happy
as a sand boy
and I am stone-
blind with the
suddenness of all.

Today is the day
when your name
meets mine, when
the two of us sing
in time-ignoring rhyme.



Sara Barnard is from the UK, has lived in Spain and Canada, and is now based on a sailboat (currently in Central America) with her husband, child, and laptop for company. The last few years have mainly been about parenting and PhDing. She has recently had work accepted by Bone & Ink Press and Ink & Nebula.