Vena Cava Exposition
Two fall asleep under one red giant and
drift at a distance, to romance separate oceans.
Your bathing ankles are ivory breakwaters,
she comes round with a groan.
Sometimes he neglects to darken his roots and she
dissects his hair into wispy streams the colour of leaves,
strewn underfoot, gilded carnival popcorn.
At the crest of a Ferris Wheel he whiffs figs on a gust,
thick like the scent of clotting syrup and
her fingers grip as if to say I know,
or that she can smell white pepper on his neck.
There are afternoons and twilights
when they both catch the stench of chlorine on their wrists and
throats tighten, eyes burn.
Each winter waterlogged
in snowdrift detergent; ammonia stains palms like blood
or the colour of a clockwork mechanism,
way down under his ribs.