Copyright © Pendas 2017
When I first kissed the puckered skin
that had been breast, it was to make you
better. We always kissed to make it better.
For a while you sported a crimson scarf -
a slash of colour defying dark and all its
weighty terrors. I weighed the false breast
in my hands and found it very heavy.
Later you would start to cry— I would not
know why, and grow impatient
with your passivity. In fact the ravages
had spread, and you, confined
to your sick bed, grew thinner by the day.
Soon death outstripped both clothes
and kisses. But I’ve kept your crimson scarf
with its powerful charm against the dark.
Originally published in Critical quarterly and Collected in Strange Horses 2011.
Later selected for The Wilding Eye 2015.