Fierce

Fierce white feet,
paddling harder and harder
going nowhere
on the bristling waves,
somersault of light,
a foam of dolphins
drenched their glistening fears.

Player piano and the
drowned musician,
mazurkas of the forbidden heart,
it killed us with a bowl of fruit,
a single pineapple that
reached the shore.

Round and round in circles,
fierce little feet,
their widening wake,
carrying the laughter of
their skin.
I thought of spiders and seabirds,
things that never dreamed of death,
or burst pipes,
or a broken coast.

And the children trailed their toes
and combed the sea’s green hair.
She shuddered at their touch,
she welcomed their kisses,
and the paper boats that ignited
beneath a flaming feather in the sky.

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Bouquet

There was love in the room,
full, opening to the bending rafters.
She was a bouquet that
spilled across the bed,
while a basket of fruit
exploded in my face.
There was laughter in the room,
it echoed like a cathedral
of white love spasms,
when the sky knelt in prayer,
and the world obeyed the moss.
Laughter in the blood,
swinging from body to body,
two bodies scooped into
the sun’s morning paws.
There was love in the room.
There were bouquets
of exploded hearts.

Moth

I’m watching it take a long time to die.
Last night, over and over,
it tried to reach the lamp,
nirvana,
scampering up the wall
until its crabbed wings gave out.

But you just didn’t get that it’s over, moth.

I watched it out of boredom,
the banality of it’s death,
there was nothing else worth doing.
The silence of a dying moth
kept me awake.

It’s still at it this morning,
keeps falling on its back,
choking on the last green spasms,
the light’s not even on anymore.

The world’s long gone out for you, buddy.

Outside when the sun comes up,
I’ll go scampering after my own lamps.
Outside on the blazing pavement,
the spasm of life will go on, self-defeating.
None of them will know when to give it up.

Keep

It’s the I that complicates things.
The things the I keeps
in the pockets of his soul,

you wouldn’t understand
that even he finds this
difficult to explain to himself.

Come near.
You’ll find an
endless tower of hands
covering each other

and the thing the I keeps
buried beneath in the dust.
So deep, he can’t find
a reflection in the damp earth,

he can’t see the
opened seed of lament.
But he was once a child
of painful births.

One after another,
summers bled from him.
The I was a solitude of love,
a whisper of farewells,
and places waited, naked for him.

Now, beneath the hands,
the hands that strangle one another
in tightening handshakes,
will you ever know who I am?

A Dozen

A dozen tiny children
squatting on the rocks,
crabs in pools,
wind collapsing seaward.
Children of a crueler world
pulling off the ocean’s legs.

A dozen sea birds
angry in the sky,
Stuka bombing
the silent fish and chip hordes.
The wind returns across the surf,
holding the hand
of a dead fisherman.

A dozen memories of you,
seaweed on the sand,
you waded here,
stones between your thighs.
The seagulls were happier then,
the children kind,
the crabs still had their claws.

Black Currant

I wouldn’t say I am at a loss,
for speech, for words, for flowers.

It’s just that, in the mouth
there is something,
dark, growing, blooming,
death.

I call it death,
but really it is the birth
of an exquisite black currant.

Where am I going?
I’m going to the middle,
the middle,
to the heart of the black currant.
At each bite, through the skin,

itself a galaxy, a life, a cold and deserted song,
I’m wading into the flesh,
blue, female.

It is a breast, a fullness between my teeth.
I know what I will find there
at the centre.

It is not a final nipple, not
completion, lust, perfection, fleeing guitar.
At each bite, the currant diminishes,

at each bite, the lungs full,
so gorged with the juice of fear and sleep.

Animals sleep in huddles of sand.
My palm is a vast plain in the night.

A single tree shelters the
black currant,
the current of my death in the desert.

A wind like a woman strips the dripping canyons.
What is it I find at the centre of my currant?

All fruit falls in the mouth of death,
my voice blooms in the mouth of death,

an ejaculation of stars,
smeared over the parallel skin of her waist.