I am foolish when I have a cold
with my crook jawed speech
cranked with King Tut’s hand,
mouth agape panting like a Canaan
dog with a scratch clawed throat.
My eyes with a cold tea stare that
follow no one. Death has been
left to his own devices. In microcosm
is this how the mechanics of death
work? Short of breath, lazed with a puffer
of pharmaceuticals. It’s the bones that
carry anguish, the marrow is lacerated,
malady consume its morsels. The ointment
of Saint Victor glazed my deflated chest.
Once you’re born you’re ushered into the light,
gabbling of an inner world of lilac
blooms surrounding your fragility, tip-
toeing around mother’s meat. You’re brought down
by the scent of a strange air, unsweetened
by lilacs, on the bough of a stranger’s
raw thigh, bayoneted by a piercing
luminosity, tottering amongst
the lost luggage of a hissing mask of
gas and air, a tattered night dress and a
gore of speculums. Your mother swayed like
a duck with nostrils of smoke and had too
be rushed for surgery. She felt the loss
of not being able to cradle you.
Copyright © Grant Tarbard 2016
Grant Tarbard is the author of the newly released Loneliness is the Machine that Drives this World (Platypus Press). Follow him on Twitter at @GrantTarbard.