'Dear Love,' / 'Marbles' / 'runaway stars'

Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash

Dear Love,

I was expected to expose myself.

Instead, I checked the weather forecast –

Leipzig is cold today, a hint of frost

hangs above the park,

each blade of grass tipped white.

Beneath the bridge, that favourite drinking spot,

where water runs slowly in its riverbed,

the White Magpie wraps herself in mist.

A few miles West, Plagwitz will be asleep,

a deep Saturday stupor rising from the streets

into my slanted attic room, where toothpaste

covers bald spots on the walls.

Here, someone taught me love

was a thing of the dark, a taste

of morning breath behind closed blinds.

I am writing to tell you

I don’t believe that anymore.

~ Josefine Stargardt


When I last saw you

I took the words you gave me,

caught them in the shallow bowls of my palms.

Now I carry them with me – your rounded vowels,

the soft tingling of your consonants –

they weigh down my pockets,

a set of marbles warming against my skin.

From time to time I take them out,

deep green or veined electric blue,

and hold them in my hands,

mementos of your skin against mine,

and of how your bright nails

matched the colour of my shirt.

~ Josefine Stargardt

runaway stars

after Allen Ginsberg

in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats

i take ur hand

the floor is lava

the green sludge of the city pooling at our feet

i pull u onto the settee we sit entwined

where city lights don’t reach

i kiss ur forehead eyebrows the corner of ur mouth

u exhale stars we orbit

u stretch out ur hands to touch the black hole of the ceiling

tug at the darkness for a thrill

i weave a song of sirens pigeons

i kiss ur earlobes eyelids fingertips

in the next room a broken faucet


~ Josefine Stargardt


Josefine Stargardt is a bilingual poet based in Germany and the UK. Her work has been published online by the British Council Germany as well as Honey&Lime Lit and Homology Lit. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in several print anthologies including Met Five (2019) and Binde der Welt die Schnürsenkel zu (2016). She has two wonderful nephews and wishes she had a cat.

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