I've had two damn good hidings, the way
the summer froze, and the barnacles of light
attached themselves to skin
already pinched, thistled, moulded and beaten
smooth as an aluminium sheet.
My heart's sclerotic. It bunches like fist,
grunting in understatement:
there was a widow who scrubbed it raw
as a stretch of flagship deck, but left it
like a pirate with maps in her satchel.
They broke the spade on the surface,
on the pewter earth. How cold the hurried
hands! How cold! The black slab
of night was shunted across my lids.
And the rudimentary music, of footsteps.