• Your neighbourhood poet

TOUCH ME NOT

She could not love the man

Whose company she craved each night; the bed

Upon which they both lay, lovelorn the weightless dreams

Of her youth, faded but ne’er forgotten; it spoke

In whispers of a semblance sought between

The lips redder than a smoked cheroot

She’d once kissed; longed to kiss again,

And her husband’s, terraced across the violent contours

Of a grime-fed landscape. Her heart is yet asleep,

Lost yet in yearning for the sallow warmth denied

Unto herself; it is in love with love. A mirage

That would will mountains into the merest of men

And do nothing for a stricken child. She does not remember

His name, a fettered clasp of wing that could die

At once, her only window to a world

That feeds her charmless fancies; of a sea-door that ends

At the foot of his blood-burned corpse, eyes still

The colour of shadows, rain, and billowy houses in the dark.

Her husband lies alone in a bed

That was never his to claim.

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