This is the mansion which God willed me
and no other. The ceiling is glass,
the stars unreadable and what pass
for stars stare blankly
at something just over my shoulder.
I am standing in the grand hall of mirrors
like a chess piece on the tiled floor,
a blind and insignificant player in a game
that the other has already won,
but I am trapped on my square while you
are making love to another who is
shivering but not with the cold
and I am laid bare against the world.
from Not in this World (Bloodaxe, 2015), first published on Poetry International Web, 2006, © Tracey Herd 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher