The crushed violets in your drenched hand
smell of nothing, the ionone numbs the senses,
Like ghosts they cannot wither, being as they are
already gone into some nervy hinterland.
Josephine, you called me, the shadow on my breast
blue like a bruise or a bird’s wing, or something
chemical. The more you called, the less I thrived,
as though the name were not freely given
but stolen from another’s face, a mask.
Such wasted flowers I never asked for
Still reappear unasked –
Like dust or sweat they faintly linger,
Now I wear my hair pinned tight –
to stop it coiling round your finger.
Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2018