Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009


by Ross Kightly

He found no comfort, loving her so much,
the stretch of plausibility so far
beyond the slippy touch of flesh or words.
There's only pain, the need to please, give
what he knew he had never had; pretence,
a laying out from habit, botched tools,
the others using roses, wind and scent,
or placing easy hands on forearms by
candlelight.  But knowing how hard it is
cannot prepare for the tears, the blood beneath
the skin, the venom swimming up into
her eyes.  He couldn't help remembering
skittering phosphorus like a demon,
the gasps that filled the lab; but then nothing
was thrown into his face, and now, nothing
is kept back;  cursed, he'll shrivel like a slug;
she knows he is green slime, gristle, rind.

Added: 21.04.2009