Serpentine

Serpentine

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.
Flawless.

Beautiful, simple,
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.

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