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Today, clipping the privet hedge, I felt his gaze on the nape on my neck, that subtle sense the hairline has . . . how would topiary translate? but the moment I turned he dissolved like sugar into milk, like shadow into dusk. Whenever he smiles something escapes me.


On Not Reading Rilke

He goes on waiting, stupefied by hours of fluorescent light and milk glass shades in a library oppressed by the weight of shelved theses. Having drawn down all the blinds against the immanent eclipse

he crosses his ankles and reclines as if for a board room portrait, tracing the repeating pattern in silk, neither listless nor alert but slack as a deckchair widow cruising the Aegean.

Newly hatched, aphid-green, a lacewing on the pelmet eases open its wings and the moon turns black, black as frostbite, gnawing inch by inch till the corona sears and scorches everything into being,

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