So much as close my eyes
and a flayed Labrador is laid at my doorstep.
And here’s the same bone
lodged in the slippery pottage
of my heart
where this man croons, Baby you’re so sweet
until I take his head between my hands
and lay it on my breast.
There’s the moon in the high window, her wall-eye
glancing off me, and a few bobbing stars,
every tawdry shining thing.
I’ve identified Venus more times
than I can count as an agent for insomnia,
a broad sail that catches the wind and slides away.
Not even halfway through the hours,
his fitful sleep, wheeze of a saber-saw,
waves receding on a rocky shore,
breath whip-snaking down a chute, until his body
forgets—how still, how close the kingdom,
one stalled-gulp away,
and I jostle his dying shoulder—he recoils, yes,
rebels, back now, mouth full of silver,
What? he moans to darkness, what?
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2015
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.