sometimes pain seems to be the truest thing there is
it sits behind your eyes like a shivering animal
whose vision is a foil wretched with reflections
even skins are razors luminous with unshed blood

and you understand anew the fragility of touch
how real and clumsy it is a derailed train in which
corpses leak beneath shuddering metal and collide
discourteously as the worm wakes in the brainpan

sniffing the stench of tears — pain is excess of course
and thus shrugged and deadened — there is no time
for its midnight pollen drifting through your veins
rooting and flowering into hallucinatory lymphomata

for shuttered lids and tongues tasting of iron for the
impotence of a half formed gesture which gutters out
and leaves a trail of rust inside the stilled hand
for the clarities which ripple in its silence

Alison Croggon


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