I seem to have come to the end of something, but don't know what, Full moon blood orange just over the top of the redbud tree. Maundy Thursday tomorrow, then Good Friday, then Easter in full drag, Dogwood blossoms like little crosses All down the street, lilies and jonquils bowing their mitred heads. Perhaps it's a sentimentality about such fey things, But I don't think so. One knows There is no end to the other world, no matter where it is. In the event, a reliquary evening for sure, The bones in their tiny boxes, rosettes under glass. Or maybe it's just the way the snow fell a couple of days ago, So white on the white snowdrops. As our fathers were bold to tell us, it's either eat or be eaten. Spring in its starched bib, Winter's cutlery in its hands. Cold grace. Slice and fork.
As I walk up the rise into the silence of snow, in the sough of brittle snowflakes,
you are breathing shallow breaths in bed.
A paper tissue lies discarded where I dabbed a drip from your nose.
As I sit in another room you are swishing your lips.
You have become the inside of my body. I am gasping for the crackle
and whistle of your chest. My body is your world under a blanket of snow.
The wolf leaves paw prints on it, catching a niff of tussocky breasts,
dipping thighs, flat tummy, tight skin, the mutter of a bony outcrop.
Hills rise and fall with your breathing, its spate and its whisper.
The snow is lisping from the eaves as I listen for the blab of your heart.
You stir to speak. Your chest heaves. Fistfuls of ice slack off and pelt the stones,
sluds of snow stretch and slide under the window.
There is a quiver, a tingle, then icy water stutters after the snow in a stream.
The night before last, you stopped.
There was a gulp, then stillness and listening — for the lick
of the meniscus on a swollen river, for a trickle in the dried-out bed
of a beck, the jostle of fingertips, snapping of feet. You nestled in a heap
under jacket, quilt, hat, light, scarf, shawl, sheet,
you were all twined and tangled up,
your suck held back by a puff, a spanking sea breeze,
then, flat out, pillows concertinaed, released a salty waft, a redolence
while you held one slippered foot under the sinews, stung and docketed
the twisted jumble, face motionless apart from spitting pith,
and I hoicked you up, straightened the pillows in your shadow
and your voice spurted out as I kibbled your lungs in my own chest’s thump.
A sky flipped open when you breathed again, like the tilt over Hartside Top.
No birds. No scratchings. Just rustling of clothes and clacking of teeth.