Bleached

I round up my cowering words,
tippling in corners, their clammy
syllables wiped from cheeky
wisps of your face:
huddled, clumsy like birds.

I have not cried,
not since my arms dusted your tears.
Instead I touch others, my
head on their shoulders, staring.
Cricks in my neck.

You are a flutter, feathers
my raddled old hands go clipping,
clipping your wings.
I pluck your side, and sand
crumbles across my kitchen.

I have no sweat left, only
the mackerel ink of these drips,
from the pickings - this grease.
I am bleached by the vigorous kisses
caught in my hair.


From the book Love Poems