Your skin is paper,

the bark beneath surfacing as I rub against you.

Dark and tender as a bruise you forbid me to touch.

The sheet is still warm.

We should be sleeping prawns,

slotted moons but you dress too soon,

cloaking the candid mid-day light.


I have slid around your trunk seven times,

looked up to see your face in the boughs,

but your words have unravelled,

their shapes and sounds straightening

into the line and beatless bleep of a heart that has stopped.


Like the yew grove at Kingley Vale

you have spread your dusk over me.

no birds or insects feed

on those trees,

holding their breath

until the bark turns red,

some hollow, heart wood gone.


I had crouched inside one,

its peeling bark a shawl of wood around the air.

It should have died when its centre rotted

and yet above me still, from a tangle of branches,

green shoots,

as likely as the blossoming of gate posts.


                                                               Maria Ede-Weaving







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