That Farmer’s Wife

Tess was never an unalloyed maid –
not Hardy’s vessel of pure emotion
untinctured by innocence

Such country girls are as scarce
as a hen’s brightly bared tooth
Too hastily judged? Or not?

She was metallic – below – to me
When bared – again – by a kindred
lover – our fusion rubbed to rust

Divisions of men – such she kept
mapped close enough to feel – to plot
and find her way – only her eyes shut

whilst her barn doors swung wide
to near-unhinged arcs of openings –
as her balm of blood – of love’s slaughter –

blew out on her cousin’s stunk breath
as he bent with her to snort at troughs
aligned by credit cards – then blocked

All a loss – it is no more a sweet place
Not for me – Sour scents off her wetness
turn on Etkin-Bell’s ring finger

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten
her odour as he wipes his creased brow
She dragged too many too close by lies

Takeaways

How shall I study
your offered body?
With intimate sight
through my fingertips

I shall measure your
almost-bare prospect
as a blinded map maker
set to plotting contours

Such thoughts ease
into my half-dreams
Each stroke takes me
by pathways on dips

then up to almost-chalk
landscapes of Downs –
stretched before slept travel
Before sleep’s other sights

We Lay

We lay parallel on your sofa
as if raft-bound – beached –
rolled tight into hard intimacy –
into another urge of pushes
and pulls – you are so slight
that it seems almost fictional
An unexpected blast of verse
as rare as washed up ambergris
is our mute communion of sex