Magic Cup

You’re there below 
my kitchen window, 
stretched out 
beneath the washing. 
You tell yourself 
this is study, 
with your plastic-bound 
booklet and fluorescent 
pen, the text facing 
the ground, weighing 
down today on page 
All lipgloss, sunglass, 
moisturiser: your 
iridescence is brilliant 
in the changing light. 
So as I’m rinsing suds 
off the rubber piece 
of the breast pump 
that cones over the breast, 
I wonder if you 
could assemble it 
in ten seconds 
as if it were a gun – 
you, semi-naked, 
heady with sun, 
brainy and young. 
And as you 
are coming to grips with 
the shifts of salts 
in the kidney, 
and how the body 
just knows 
to activate thirst, 
I’m filling this cup 
that won’t spill 
or slosh 
no matter how 
it is shaken or tossed, 
thinking how rightly 
they have called it magic. 


We collect at the periphery: 
uncertain bathers at the edge 
of a great white pool. But when 
the sound is given, you lead 
the push, your strong wax strokes 
slipping through ice, 
long and looping, making the first 
scrawled marks in the afternoon. 
I recall your stories, the photo, 
a long tract of ice 
as far as the eye can see, 
incising the horizon, 
swept clean and smooth 
in a well-groomed stripe. 
It’s what they call 
a diamond day – 
the white stretch fastened 
with clear, cold air, nothing 
between but you, 
the slipstream swoop of skaters, 
children on double blades 
clutching chairs. You start: 
sawtooth metal stuck in ice, 
the push. You swing your arms, 
gather yourself, thighs 
thrusting forward against the hard 
canal and you’re there, in flight. 
Top half forward, chin tucked in, 
hands linked there 
in the small of your back. 


Angela Andrews has been working on a collection of poems this year for the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University. She was previously working as a junior doctor.