Holding (Paul Hetherington)
He held her body lightly,
shirted as it was,
falling backwards as it was,
away from him.
He read in her arched back
the prow-lines of figureheads
on ships that crossed ancient archipelagos
and churned unknown oceans with oars,
fighting the rips.
He read in her thrown-back face
a thousand men spurned
by women who wished to go their own way
and divined in the turn of her arm
where the elbow bent,
where a soft down furred the tender light,
In holding her
time had no dimension
beyond this falling-back of her voice
and the running steps of her rib cage,
beyond her shadow,
that seemed to possess his light
and the convex meniscus
of her resilient body.
He was alien to himself.
He was clotted and cauled.