The slip-through trick of cufflinks
like coins through water, you
unbuttoned, creased and folded.
Jackknife cut of elbows jutting,
cocked, sure wrists into hands-up.
Ready man in his shirtsleeves,
then. A pang like biting tin
conducted through my fillings,
sunk mercury eyes.
Your hands in my hair, dumb
paws, fumbled. Whisky kiss plugging
my ear to itself, sense-stopped
in my long-dead uncle bent down
to press about how was school.
Since when do you drink that stuff,
I asked, un-looping my entanglements
with your fingers.
Since when do you care, you grin
at me, between nibbles along the arm
of your gun-metal bifocals, slide
yourself between comforter and sheet.
River of lye beneath. Who will come
to soap us, to crush our last bone hulls
by hand? What was it I harboured?
This act of taking off your glasses
still signal for some war.