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sappho takes her muse into town by Karan Chambers



sappho takes her muse into town


shows her a good time. look! she cries,

her voice like a fingertip stroking

the inside of a delicate thigh. look

what we could create together!

sappho shows her muse around


a gallery, swishing

between the frames, pointing out

colours, brushstrokes, expressions –

pity, despair, love, naked desire – hoping

her muse feels the same


thrill. sappho ushers her

into a library, filled with hush

& wonder, they leaf through lines

of verse traversing vellum, papyrus,

plain paper, all while sappho teases


meaning from white space, enjambment

& caesura, help me write

like this! she pleads, lips

parted, heart pounding

in iambic pentameter.


later, they walk beside

the river, watch the sunlight glint

on water, listen to the clash & tugging

pull of tide on darksilt sand.

sappho coaxes a smile, takes


her muse’s hand so gently, leads

her to a stonearch bridge, &

at the centre point,

stomach fizzing in anticipation,

tilts her head, leans in






Karan Chambers is a poet and former English teacher living in Surrey. She holds a BAHons in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and has been published or is forthcoming in Atrium, Ink Sweat & Tears, Mslexia, Propel Magazine, and The Waxed Lemon. Instagram: @KaranChambersPoetry Twitter: @KaranJCChambers


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