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Katie Mallett

Circles and stars

We were watching potters,
close enough to see the clay
spinning on the wheels and feel
the melted chocolate splashes,

iron rigid thumbs
pressing into blobs of earth
to hollow out their different shapes,
bowls and vases, shallow dishes,

the ridges drawn, the rims upheld
by some strange force, in perfect rounds
as patterned by a swinging bob,
guarded by cupped hands.

Afterwards we saw the pots,
fired and first glazed, ready for
the decorators' art.
Round went cups and bowls on stands,

perfect circles skimming brims,
drawing themselves, the brushes held
as still as us, as breath held hard
we sensed the planets turning,

the pulling of the stars.