Love On Death Row

That night you were windswept, your hair
Free and wild, your smile enigmatic
As a Mona Lisa’s. That night, you came
In that pashmina – the white one I gave you
So you would be camouflaged against
The ice. The word PASHMINA makes me
Think of PASSION. That night, your voice
Was a warm, magnetic, sensuous blue
Like Earth – like home from space – like the tingle left
On my tongue after a long midnight
Snack of campfire and starlight on the silent
Village green. It sent a sleepy
Shimmer through me like a slow in-breath. That night,
You smelled like flying, as though you had been
Bathing in the sky at dawn, as though
The scent of melted moonlight could have lingered
Somehow in its absence on your skin,
Clinging there like smoke, painting your face
A subtle flush in the silky half-light
Of the cell. That night, you peeled
Away my shell, leaving
Me out, feeling my self smouldering
Against your heart, watching my own ashes
Gather, passing between your fingers like an open
Passion-flower of fine, black
Sand. SAND: that word makes
Me think of cool, hushed
Shallows, of hide-and-seek and
Strange, hypnotic dances
In the sea-weed, of castles
Sculpted of “rose-quartz” and glass lusciously worn
By ocean and gull’s-feather
Slivers of sunlight like
Laughter: the sound of a caesura
In a requiem; of transience
Crumbling like silent shingle
Beneath bare toes. Best not think too much
Of all of that: thoughts, like sunlight, can be
Sharp, can draw blood even, if you get
Too close. The word “sand” might steal
The Eucharist at Passion-tide…

< Back to Texts