Ralf Webb
in Three Parts


        Sit in the close room. Roll up your shirtsleeve.
        Your forearm is corded by blue veins. Eased
        to the surface by another heavy August day,
        in this, your new city of subways and white noise.


        Your arm has an abrupt topography. Lashes
        put down by a metal object. Something came
        and gave you a sign: mark yourself thus, and
        you’ll again be able to eat in the company
        of others. Mark yourself and let your currency
        haemorrhage, let it pool in the strange basin.
        Swallow a cup of water. Wash yourself, walk.


        Pass your fingertips over the scars. They are
        raised, parallel. Like the railroad sleepers in
        the backwoods of the back town, where tall
        trees in narrow silver suits let light perforate
        your ignorant face. Before cities. Before
        their incoherent premises, which echo and quake
        and cause the body to mutilate, then bloom.

Ralf Webb’s poetry has appeared in the London Review of Books, Test Centre, Oxford Poetry, and elsewhere.


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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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is edited by Jon Auman, Thomas Chadwick & Dominic Jaeckle

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