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The Dark by Sam Bootle



The Dark


I don’t so much see the dark

as taste it:

the bloom of rust

you get in your mouth

when you wake up late in a strange house

to a radiator’s tock and find

that everyone’s gone


and there in the steep

of the room’s still

you are not lost at all,

not lost but stopped

in the heft of yourself, in the ebb,

as a distant siren

makes the close silence thick.






Sam Bootle teaches French literature at Durham University, specialising in late nineteenth-century French poetry. His translations of Jules Laforgue feature in the anthology All Keyboards are Legitimate (2023), and he has also published his own poetry in Alchemy Spoon, Dreich, Francosphères and Mono.

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