They had known each other since high school.

    And the soil was sweet between them.  So

        sweet, he did not have to plant his seed

            just gently cast it on willing ground.

She marvelled at the elbow that caught

     like some beloved trap beneath her

        ribs.  The foot testing from inside-out

her skin’s trampoline.  It was safe then

        from September’s mercurial wind.


Some space in their imaginings was

    filled with an ultrasound that bounced light

       and dark: cloud travelling across a

          field.  Their loose panicles of talk on

sleep-edged nights took on a pinkish hue 

    and would accrue as flesh and blood, so

       light and airy as to barely set

            above the roots holding cord to earth.

And it was then tenderness was born


in them. They held close each small exhale

    of scented talc with amazement. But

        after barely eight weeks, the baby’s

breath was gone. Those two were the glass which

              steam in a room sometimes settles on. 

    Often they found themselves see-through to

       each other.  At other times, opaque

            when neither could clear the smallest patch

                        of mirror within, that did not ache.



from 'A Modesty of Flowers’, in Counsel for the Defence, IPSI Chapbook 7