A stomach flat
as table cloth,
I rearrange the setting
deftly as a swallow's beak,
my fingers pressed like ears
against the deepening brown,
some touch,
a little sabotage,
my mission
careful not to listen to
the rage of your swallowing,
the tremor of your unbuckling,
the anger in that blood
jerking you out of girlhood
into something more akin
to fire than years.

- John Grey

© 1995

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