In the place of you, there is a stain, between the sheets
A pall of warm bitter sweat
As thick as the moisture that sweeps the dead and sleeping.
Bring me the very best things, in bows
I beg you in the garden
And I will bring them back in pieces, in broken bits.
I put your breathing to sleep in the dark and narrow
Where you will wait and paint
The space between the mattress and the wall.
While I walk this shallow trough, nearly drowning
Mouth full of mud and mire
You are crumpled and worn by the paper sounds of the past.
How shall this blue flame crest between us
The burst of this liminal ooze
Out of the seabed for fossils sharpened as weapons.
How shall this broken peace bear its rotten fruit
In brimstone burning or in ice
The end of something soft and strange and pale
The end of something nice.