to shellacked skin.
c o l d
I glimpse you in transposition,
fish-hooking me in the bar-room glass;
parentheses frame a lop-sided grin,
picture-light lit by flickering grey-greens.
razor burn me with your beauty;
swift, dark-lashed flash of recognition.
Sweeping familiarity to the fringes,
we weave curios through soft fingers
scooping up the nascent swell
of a longed-for new beginning.
We woke early the day spoons fell from the sky,
rubbed gritty eyes, sleepily unaware of incoming metal,
left home to muddle through the mundane.
Early March, dark by six when we returned,
seconds through the door when the shower started,
startling the air with ring and rasp.
I barely recognised her voice
The first hit me blunt, brought me to my knees,
freeze-framed millisecond before the second hit
bit into my scalp, pinned me to the ground
while silver rained around. You dragged me
from the deluge, covered my head.
I fled, bled, remember running the stairs,
aware of the screams, dead dead dead
beneath the clatter, hammered-mettle matter
that left me bludgeoned and bleeding,
surrounded by steel that scooped me hollow,
left me to wallow in double-dense days,
weighed down by the hebetate chemical daze.
Narcosis that left me scrabbling for sharps,
searching in drawers for whetted knives,
anything to feel the edge of the blade.
Looked in all the usual places; briefcase, wallet,
trouser pockets. Dreading, hoping to unlock it;
wanting just to understand why our portraits scowled
at one another, face to face in the little locket.
Eventually found it in the tiny scorched corners
of the upturned curve of the blazing sun
that rose every time she walked in the room
and slowly but surely my world came undone.