Friday Poem


Give me my hand on his neck and his back to my breast,
my heart ruffling his ribs and their flighty charge.
Give me the sea-grass bristles on his shoulder-blades
and his spine, courteous and pliable to my wrist.

His back is a child’s drawing of seagulls flocked.
I knuckle the air undone by their windward flight
and draw from their dip and rise my linear breath.

Were he standing, my tongue could graze the whorl
at the base of his neck and leave my hand to plane
the small of his close-grained waist.

Were he lying down, I’d crook in the hollow
of him and, with my index finger, slub the mole
at the breech of his back that rounds on darkness
like a knot in veneer: shallow, intricate, opaque.

by Vona Groarke

From: Flight
Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 2002