Pearls strung around a neck
of marble, lustrous beads,
hard and pretty: the hair is black,
the lips rubescent. Ghost men feed
on these painted curves, define
a role you played with vigour, silent
vigour. The eyes are cool and sane.
The mood is violent.
from Not in this World (Bloodaxe, 2015), first published in Split Screen Anthology edited by Andy Jackson (Red Squirrel Press, 2012), © Tracey Herd 2012, used by permission of the author and the publisher