(for & after Sophie Brzeska)
‘phonographs by dozens howl’
Bells: whose bells jangle,
jingling soulless Psyche at her end,
juggling the vile reflexive shards?
Are they ruptured St. Mary’s?
Or just the campanile clang of dysfunction,
elusive running unction, urging rust dripping,
staining rose stale petals in rank finger bowls?
Lying, unquiet in the cramped length
of a winter’s encrypted afternoon,
silence shapeshifting in the flames,
the tartan curtains rippling.
It is visiting time in the locked ward of agony
and snow snoozes thick at the catacomb entrances,
bitter weather for a sleigh ride together with anyone.
Wolves unturf the slain in the
company of bears and carolling blacksmiths.
The crematorium is warmer than the snug.
You can pass the parcel but not rewrap the present.