Thursday, 10 April 2008

My hands enfeebled as two new hatched butterflies

My hands enfeebled as two new hatched butterflies

flap uselessly, signalling a drought of you, then rise,
to vein the air as shadows, moving up and down
on heat haze, night shifts, eddies, warps and wefts,
uncoil upon transparent sheets, to flock, return
report upon the heat beneath your shirt.

Their warmth expands, their memory respires and grows
as mycelia, flowers, burst from arduous slow pulsations -
my hands are thinking of you - defining, drawing a simulacrum
they repeat the galliard of when they last danced, tense and gloved
upon the fringes of your hair, the taut menisci of your surfaces
sent arcane messages, measured signals, synapses,
to your tracks and pulses, grew dilatory and filled, were satiated
by you beating as a wing will beat,
the feathers brushing back and forth.

On you I damped my thumbs and printed patterns, offerings
reflexed my palms as temple maidens gesturing in heat
I ghosted lingeringly on your pale skin - was matched, replete -
but now these hands, these butterflies, virgins, starfish
are lost and washed up flotsam that find no pleasure,
that lapse forlornly, squirm and flail where once you were -
have lost the hot axis on which to turn
they seem vestigial, limbic, drumming, hardly human
as roofspace starlings -
on inner walls
they knock and burn.

copyright Veronica Aldous

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