Serpentine - Lavinia Greenlaw
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Those buried lidless eyes can see
the infra-red heat of my blood.
I feel the crack, the whisper
as vertebrae ripple and curve.
Days of absolute stillness.
I sleep early and well.
His rare violent hunger,
a passion for the impossible.
He will dislocate his jaw
to hold it.
My fingers trace the realignment
as things fall back into place.
Each season, a sloughed skin
intensifies the colours that fuse
with mineral delicacy at his throat.
he will come between us.
Last night you found his tooth
on your pillow.
from A World Where News Travelled Slowly (Faber & Faber, 1997), © Lavinia Greenlaw 1997, used by permission of the author and the publisher.