Love making ends
bottoms in seats –
Virgin beginning from another virgin taken,
And all hands on 12-day old heart beats.
Dates, earmarked for ovial optimism
By women of long aching maternity,
are vesicles of syncopated fornication.
Or shouts: “It’s hot as hell”
On a night built of steam, the sex of games,
And from the bedside bottle remembered early well
Liquid-come infant names.
But all end in dilated screams
And all the other stuff of dreams.
The day my grandfather broke the law in the churchyard
Was just coming out of the rain:
The Japanese maples pulled their fat, bruised leaves
Dripping out of thigh-high mist
Like eggs eased out of bowls of dye.
It was early, so no one was leaving the Douglas Arms
Or the film rental shop across the main street,
And Jim Gibson the minister was inside with the flowers.
No one was there to see him stoop
shovel in hand, or see him lower
The oval into a hole, under
The stunted cherry tree that only grew branches on one side.