Smells of nothing at first,
the void of a sharp inhalation
when the frozen air hits

Then it’s crisp as apple skin,
cool as blue
A snowflake just like me

Slightly salty, startling
when your eyes water at the wind
or an icicle lands shattering

I’ll keep it
in a bottle that used to hold vinegar
the kind with ‘mother’, like comfort

I’ll open it when I’m feeling bitter
when I need sugar to fall
like miracles from the sky

I’ll open it when the atmospheric heat
feels unmatchable,
when we melt, evanescing

When we need a bright reminder
of what once bridged us across mammoth continents,
what delighted children from the window of a musical van.


Poem by Claire Basarich


Claire Basarich is a French-American writer, editor, and translator from Atlanta, Georgia and has been living in the UK since 2011. Her work has been published in Barcelona Ink, El Libro Rojo, Parentheses, and Now Then Magazine, among others, and explores themes of identity, place, trauma, family, and the natural world.

Individual poems have been longlisted for the Rialto Nature & Place Prize 2017 and the Live Canon 2018 International Poetry Competition, and her first collection was shortlisted for the Live Canon 2019 pamphlet competition. Claire has led creative writing workshops for XR and helps run the local Sheffield Climate Writers group, in the north of England.