The Poet Does Not Marry
Lest he forgets the way light laps an empty bed
or sets itself aslant a table set for breakfast
in the first few months of lust.
Or, at the throbbing thorax of a wasp or ladybird’s crisp husk
pats his pocket for a pen that isn’t there
and yet still does not turn back
but finds his solace somewhere other than the casket of a sonnet,
leaves metering the rain to share an umbrella,
hold a hand held out for holding,
and in the foetal curls of prawns sees again just prawns;
in rabbit wombs and war-torn flesh again just plum tomatoes,
rhubarb fool to feed a lover with its acrid tang,
before lying mute and verseless, entranced by the way a word
happens on her lips, dawns itself slowly on her brain,
becomes something other in her mouth.
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