Body double


I have seen how the world turns,
how electric cities appear while soaring
in halls of air and how the dawn
breaks across nothing but sky.

Grounded, I occupy one site, one standing place
while another version of me exists
in the mind and memories
of others.

She is the alternative, walking across
the Millennium bridge, bundled in gloves, hat, scarf;
the bitter freshness off the Thames,
tugs, the vast barge of the Tate.

Here, the leaves shimmy in
gluggy heat, black roads melt
and the wind shushes
through trees.

Standing still while the other world turns
in the darkness of this one:

the threat of snow // a scattering of kōwhai blooms
nighttime at 4 pm // the long slow evenings up above the steel roofs.


Sarah Penwarden (she/her) is a Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland-based therapist. She has had more than 50 poems published in journals in Aotearoa | New Zealand and Australia, including in Poetry New Zealand, Turbine | Kapohau, Meniscus, Southerly, Mayhem, and takahē. She has had short stories published in takahē, brief, and Meniscus, and a story broadcast on Radio New Zealand.