But, Painted Palace!

This fingered beam of light pours soft & electric –

an endless stream through the keyhole of our door.

We caress & kiss softly, almost silent,

in this cosy corner of the coming dawn.


We writhe until we cannot breathe

in this scruffy bed, beneath

Egyptian cotton sheets, sleep-thin & weak

with hunger. The henna from your hair stains


This feathered pillow & still

this makes me grin. I am sick

with happiness! Swollen,

throated, swallowed, squeezed.


Our hearts thrum behind our ribs.

The light, not quite as soft as your lips;

indeed, less so, far less so, enters,

limitless, & illuminates our skins.


You say that you are going

to push some water around the bath

(this phrase never fails to draw delight)

& I muffle my laugh as you leave,


turning off the landing light. I hear

the taps turning, the rush of water

& the black cat speaking in the hall.

The walls, I notice all at once, are bare


but for the clothes that you have sewn

all summer long. Yes, bare, but,

painted palace; red & blue.

The curtain cups the breeze


& now I hear

the tiny radio

voices, like whispered kisses,

in my ears.





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