Can’t you name her? Froth of fear-
sweat rank on her neck. Spears of light
catch the whites of her wild
rolling eyes, that glint off teeth,
her lips pulled back
over the shaft
of a broken bit.
She has, you realize, a woman’s
and impassive, yet—oh greater terror!
unyielding as climbing vine
they bind you.
And, rigid among your ropes of sheet,
you leave no impression
on the unperturbed surface,
the night’s petrified
and momentary membrane.
Loving another life. In the mirror
Alice felt herself belonging. Shadow
puppets—a lace of branches filigrees
my bedroom wall, frames a windsprite moment.
I display shed antlers, tree limbs, as art
on an applewood sideboard, lean into
sighs and cherry-bomb laughter. Swordplay creeps
toward morning, my new rituals. Come,
play, imbue nonsense gestures with meaning.
The thrum of grasshoppers seeds the field with sound.
Rubies, and crimson velvet.
The dark hues play dark notes,
colours ripple in oily solemnity.
Curtains swing heavy, collide,
raise dust, sound plumb-line deep.
Waves through an oak barrel
nosed uphill by great snuffly
beasts, heavy bodied and hard-
headed, pushing and whuffling.
The cask shifts with weight of red jewels
dripping with colour. Focus, concentrate
to find a balance in disequilibrium
for the long draught that slakes throat,
dust and choke dissipating.