Lightning – Kadeem Beresford-James
Like lightning striking,
lightning struck my temple
and struck those within
but struck none down,
Energising with fitful twitches
shedding paint to bare dark metamorphic rock
shot through with lilac veins.
My temple toppled and hit another
marble temple but
nothing broke and no-one died.
Those within my temple ran,
but never left,
with their teeth chattering
like novelty chattering teeth,
and spoke truths at the speed of
For days they spoke in tongues they understood
and the other toppled temple understood
and their voices made salty-sweet music
The second temple held the
bulk of my temple with the ease of
evening stars shining
from the eve until the bright morning.
Still they chattered, still they sang
into the day
and my temple’s lilac veins
crept like feverish ivy into the marble
and forced surrender to
effortless connection during the chorus.
The temples realigned as
shared veins shared blood
with no blood shed between their inhabitants
and the sky exploded into a
technicolour pinwheel strobe light
flashing with the intensity of a child’s dream
sharp enough to slice clouds
releasing mist and water in a
ribbon turned stream turned lake turned ocean turned flood turned tsunami.
The flow dragged our temple upright
and then lightning struck again.
My temple fell; landed unharmed.
The other temple stood, bleeding blue
at the sides. What was lilac turned green.
The water stopped.
from inside my temple
inside the other temple.
The ground shook.
Lightning struck again.