Copyright © Pendas 2017
She could not submit, had she wished to—
those straddled limbs felt like bars
and she slid through them. Out in the desert
where sand meets dark in a clash of arms,
dreams slip through her hands— salamanders
enveloped by gritty night. Alone,
no mate to ease down hard spine ridges
which uncurl from a hissing coil, she prays
perfection will sustain with each new game
she plays, but it never does. Sameness clings
limpet to the rock of each experience
the ebb-tide leaves exposed. She hunts appetite.
Originally published in The Independent, and collected in From a Benediction 1997. Nominated for the Forward best first collection prize 1998, Selected for The Wilding Eye 2015.