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3 June 2020updated 09 Sep 2021 2:58pm

The Anthropocene

A new poem from Pascale Petit. 

By Pascale Petit

A bride wears a train
    of three thousand 
                      peacock plumes

She walks down the aisle
    like a planet
          trailing her seas 

every wave an eye
    shivering with the memory
          of the display

how the trees turned
    to watch as the bird 
          raised the fan of his tail –

emerald forests
    bronze atolls 
          lapis islands

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every eye
    a storm
          held in abeyance

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Pascale Petit is a French-born British poet. Her seventh book, Mama Amazonica, won the 2018 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. Tiger Girl (Bloodaxe) is due to be published in September 2020.

This article appears in the 03 Jun 2020 issue of the New Statesman, We can't breathe