The sharp toothed longing to extinguish sound

Forgo outside world; remain, remain, breathing recycled air

Behind false walls; did no one ever tell you? There is no safety

Hidden pipes run beneath thin plaster, feeding whispers

Those who lay in this room, fingered the same stairwell

Sat listless at a table much the same, positioned to catch light

As thirsting butterfly net draws solace in the motion, arcing sun

Scooping life in threadbare hands, just to watch it pour out

This ceiling has witnessed birth and death and women walking into walls

The bruise; a special damson, not found in nature, such the unnaturalness

Of the act, faster than capture, a raised fist, the anvil of time, separation

Only a word; you can hear her murmur, in-between the brick

Soft like building a nest, even roosting pigeons make greater din

Her opacity, the cavern of her dust drenched eyes, how rapid her pulse

Threading through the houses arteries, Mistress, memory, ghost

There are no phantoms here, only movement, slights of hand

Photographs soak up lost moisture, wisteria ravages pealing paint

Devouring the leach of years in riotous magenta, as if fingers drenched

In color, spilling their music, chorused against dusky ivy, faint of heart

Home to spiders; if you watch you will see; the uncoiling of lifetimes

Opening their arabesque against the unfurling of a lazy haunting

Her footprints, the acidity of her breathing, still cloying against parquet

She is your memory; climbing the great stairwell, pausing next to

Dust drenched photo. Even time forgets, even sombulance distorts

The actual recollection, urging on black ocean, in Conrad’s dark bewitched heart

As still as glass, laid flat, beneath thick velvet in sightless hour.

3 Replies to “Slight of hand”

  1. “Unfurling of a lazy haunting” is the most self-encapsulating line for this poem. That paradoxical humidity and color you capture in the photograph is speaking directly to my spring lovesickness. I just want to keep wandering through it, like a ghost in wisteria and damson myself. 💜

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