and in the shop…
“My Nights in Cupid’s Palace”,
“The Boy Under the Water”,
The Many Press
At home unfathomable and secret
it had reasons of its own
tucked into a single bed behind closed doors
in the individual loneliness of his mouth.
For long periods in the afternoons
it would contract itself and draw in
unable to lengthen, reach over and open the curtains.
Did the room have a frescoed ceiling?
Attendants bowing and sliding backwards
in anticipation of le grand lever?
The word she wanted to hear
speaking to her alone: she imagined it
on the shiny tip of his tongue,
a mahogany piano standing upright in a corner,
superior and dark, its great lid shut
as Mozart waited lightly on the keys.
In all probability it had no more
to do with her than a chapel in the woods
whose altar with its one dry candle
had remained unvisited for years.
Never mind if it lay there dreaming
of the ritual of tucking in, the kiss goodnight.
She knew it would settle back to the shapes
it had taken in its other lives remembering
how it played havoc in a young boy
lying with its steaming pink root exposed
on a large plate in the kitchen
or hanging out a very red red
from the mouth of a black dog
it was impossible to avoid on his way to school.