OCTAVE

(I)

The bed is a dead
Sea in which your pale, patient body
Floats over white pills and tablets of asphalt
And amongst the gill-less ghosts of flying fish.

The bed’s a dead sea.
And the bed is a barren woman.
Her wrinkled
Blacks are stained with the salts

Of your night-fevers.
Each morning I
Cry at the crystallized crime scene investigation
Outlines.

You are weak,
You do not stir.
Your breath reeks like a fish-fed cat’s.
You suffer. Another small heart attack.

(II)

Sisters, brothers. In November gloom
Not one graced the funeral.
Sunglasses and black furs, leather skirts short acidic retorts,
Eyes the colours of the seas’ weeds and wet corals:

The homosexuals,
Baroque as pearls,
Limbs bandaged,
Swayed over a bed of jacaranda petals

To ‘Plainsong’. (Sunday evening: Death, not so terrible but planetary-red,
Stumbled the sterilized, white corridors like a delirious European tourist,
Amused herself in the same manner my first cat
Amused herself with her first brown house mouse,

And heisted my diamond in her velvet doom-bag - I missed you.)
I miss you.
sometimes you make me feel like i’m living at the edge of the world
like i’m living at the edge of the world “it’s just the way i smile” you said

Lyrics Smith, Gallup, Thompson, O’Donnell, Tolhurst
Fiction Records Limited 1989

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