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

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