Meeting their next taciturn new lover
You notice the deep shovels of
his hands are a combed-beach
collection of scratches, the knuckles
all wrecked, and still raw as lies.
Black flecks like question marks
on a map, sunken into the skin;
you assume them to be thorns,
but brambles rather than roses.
From beneath the frayed cuffs of
a cheap, over-worn shirt, the unruly
wire of bronze hair emerging, and
the first inch of a louder scar of
inscrutable tissue becomes visible;
terminus, direction of travel, unclear.
Somewhere in the high dome of his
chest, behind its tidal movements,
and quiet at the centre of it all,
perhaps a heart, a core you cannot
know, how securely it beats, if
at all. And you, continuing to tell
yourself just how little you care.
first published in Melancholy Hyperbole, 2016