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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.

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