I’ve a billowed even ill-spent smudgepot
near where the fishes let opaque tresses
loaf in the foxglove pith. Many marionéts,
steeped in caprice, may dance on taut string and given rein
feast on your wife’s dowry, slurp up the last
of your stew while she’s lying in her bath, lip-sippling
her third absinthe with warm water sluice at the fleshiers.
Even I ease past your foyer swags and with a spongy tissue
lining the rind, tip the clay baby upon its drooling snout.
Unlike a foolish bridegroom eager for his flick of the delicate,
I coax out the maisonette with a swaying chamber pot,
squiggles for stitch in the plumb, while close-eyed,
my lashes slack flan as though under acid wax press
and seeming my freckled blessing skew. I cub the brass
back against the harder pew. Swaddled. My purer self
backslid into layers of woolen clothes while below
the shifting surface your wife’s submerged, naked,
shy, wide-eyed and so ill consider. Lip blue. You, black
of core and perched high over lurched and harried hoofbeat,
I’ll breathe the life back past your wife’s glaucous sores.
First published in Ditch