Nat Raha

       (sonnet)



takes what fleshtones from our
kelp & ink split on dark
eyes & washed in the hers
-tory of desiring.
                                   calves
solo bare ramparts
: raw metropole’s foreclosures,
greyed.

                         if yous compelled 
     by directives & gives
     up on queer love ,   
   
         in these next night returns      
         (or jet to it, prosper!) 
     onto our declining hands 
     cold as cuts the astronomical light









                                                  … freeze in the dream stock , 
                                slid beyond best & taken freely
                                to tongues,, this

                                                  larder open to all who would stum
                                                  -ble, invitation to feast. we took

                       road beside the hill, regency cut-off 
                       spoke its news to all encountered, evening light
                       takes the day’s heat edge, & round⎯

                                cut to glass walkway, footfall quell the
                                distance of the police barricade
                                , leith,, tarmac, armour, slow smoke up 
                                -surge scene on mute / more
                                                  talk with the passing, discern
                                                  this below 

                                                                   : you, who I do not yet know 
                                                   bejewelled
                                    , tall juxt. to dark hair the light
                                              hits heels yours as the police
                                              charge the barricade beneath, smoke dou-
                                                                     sing scene / fear for
                                                                     the glass in the horse
                                                                     charge. this canteen 
                                                                belonging to students,, dive 
                                              into lift / though i block 
                                              departure to give/ask a name, voices

                                                         dropped. door crash against my frame, dark
                                                         a red jacket. take turn on these 
                                                         mechanics, liberating what foods for the flesh 


                                                                                                                         [15 july 18]



Nat Raha is a poet, musician and trans / queer activist-scholar, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is the author of numerous pamphlets and three collections of poetry: of sirens, body & faultlines (Boiler House Press, 2018), countersonnets (Contraband Books, 2013), and Octet (Veer Books, 2010). Her work has been translated into German, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish. Nat has a PhD in queer Marxism and contemporary poetry from the University of Sussex, as is a postdoctoral researcher on the ‘Cruising the 70s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures’ research project at the Edinburgh College of Art. She is the co-editor of Radical Transfeminism zine.