Skin stretches over bones’ threadwork
And worms to a crease at the head
The nightclothes where the faded lady lurks
Alongside the unmade marital bed.
Brings her knees up high to the ribcage
Yet her hands cling white to the sill
The silt of the tears of the window pane
Such finger-marks scatter and spill.
But what for each foot flat upon the floor
Like the hunters gore-spattered game
And the redundant roll as old breath pours
Into palms shaken senseless with shame.
For the night still thrills with his flickering tongue
Iced like the ceremonial slab
Which grows white beneath the cut cloth hung
Close to the wrists’ blood-ruddy tab.
The tap of the thumb is dripping still
Eyes a faucet forced open
The curtain of cold caught in a spill
Of this certain domesticated emotion.