you lie like a stain

on my face of

marbled feelings

I try to remain cold

untouched by

your passionate framing

unsure in my own self doubt

whether I am worthy of

any portraiture.


you slip like a dream

from my frigid bed and if you were

a woman you’d be a woman of the world

Indian, Malaysian, perhaps from Istanbul

you’d wear bells on your ankles

and have hennaed big toes

and elderberry lips

and your smile would hurt

like a thousand breaking stars.


you rest as a friend

on my empty shoulders

when I feel I cannot bear

another load, one more day, a single minute


in this empty carriage journey

through furnace and fury

you comfort me with the leniency

of your gift, like a child who

seeing someone crying

will reach instinctively

and wipe tears away

with the goodness of their

pure reflex.


you are crystal set against fading sunlight

on a day of horrors

you light our fire place

and cook a warm meal

you run a bath and dim the hour

until all we see is shadows

they drift without pressure

on warm current

until they become absorbed

in our evolving sleep.


you rescue me from the edge

in a dream, you cross reality

and waking, I know it is you I have

touched and though we never have

the mercy of that tender hour

waits on me all day

like a balm, soothing the

years of being told

it is unnatural to feel as I do.


you take few faces, you are once in a life time

but in each woman, I glimpse

a little of you

like a pinch of saffron

will go a long way

and a gold hem can

light up a grey dress

like an empty garden will seem

full when you visit and rain clouds

are welcome where we live

all year round.

For love

you are upside down and inside out

and love

dear, soft edged, warm necked

crossed limbed, laughing throated

cascading haired, chocolate eyed love,

you save me

every single time.