Parcelled in linen, a crack of smudged eye
opens. Under-sheet in a claustrophobe,
arms pinned, I am an ogre’s burrito.
A salt-sweat salsa of the nights
inappropriate dreaming stains me, soaks
the bedding. Sour. I can smell myself –
I feel basted, the musk of arousal as I split
my welded legs apart. For a while,
through the sleep hours, I was unafraid.
Oh, how you were on me, how I was on you!
Hip grind, deep kiss, wet hot, touch. Lord!
If you could see me now, in all my repulsion!
I did not remove yesterday’s mascara –
flecks on my sockets like new-born flies,
grease and stickum. Today, no manning
the till, no school run. Time to wallow
in slattern filth a while longer, time to tune
to the wants of me. Soon, the scourge
of shower scrub, toothbrush, hairbrush,
scent. I want you on me still, incubus –
not ready to be churched of your raking hands.
Dregs of lip remembered on my skin,
silverskim of lover’s argot sleeping the curls
of my ears. I open my mouth to the spoiled
dairy of waking breath. We were a chimera
through the dark time. Vagary – I stew myself
for a ghost. For the ache of a fool’s paradise,
a sapid drowse to ease the limbo of kitchen
sink, carwash, teacup, name-badge, smile.
I am hoarding you, a swallowed swan,
mute inside the Tabernacle of my chest.
Soon, the fall of dusk – our gullets sing
the sound of feathers. I am not ugly
in the sable of your eyes.
Jane Burn is a North East based writer and illustrator originally from South Yorkshire.
Her poems have been published in magazines such as Butcher’s Dog, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Rialto, Obsessed With Pipework, Loch Raven Review, Black Light Engine Room Literary Magazine, Silver Birch Press, Diamond Twig, Long Poem Magazine, Skylark Review, Iota Poetry, and Poet’s Republic. She was also day five on the New Boots and Pantisocracies project. Her work has also been published in anthologies from Beautiful Dragons, Kind of a Hurricane Press, The Poetry Box, Pankhearst Slim Volumes and The Emma Press.