Someone has shaken out
a blanket full of tiny bones.
They dot the oily surface,
peg its corners, stretch it
ready for the needle.
A finger slips and lozenges
of blood float on the water.
Spidered husks of flowers skim the pond
in weightless pirouette.
She bends to stroke them
with a branch still bearing blossom
coaxes them towards conception
Her hair is pinned tightly behind her
and everything fades into sky.
Are there three of them or is she there alone?
Maybe it’s nothing but the landscape
viewed wrongly when the light is poor.
Those gloves rest against her body
like gauntlets from a torture chamber.
One scratch and every tree on earth would be uprooted,
but the other two stand guard beside her nonetheless.
They are all the horizon line
and there are marks on the surface like bats’ wings.
She looks so small to be carrying
the weight of all those flowers.
Was she gentle once, is that the secret?
One day I’ll find her
folded at the bottom of my trunk
and count things properly.
And smell her. Lavender,
leaf mould, the rusty tang of blood.