Piece of Work

…And yet to me, what is
this quintessence of dust?

Hamlet, William Shakespeare. Act 2, Scene II

Before the suburb settled – an ash-scar –
And office blocks grew strong on ground we lost,
There was a city of you. And I, far
From sky-scraping heat, learned of the lease cost.

The kitchen strobe light dances on as hours
Collapse, but your cinder can feed no one –
Starved out of my room, ice-piped bloom towers.
You baked space in clumsy hunger; false sun.

I curled like a cat – kisses whisker-sensed –
Stretched out on a hearth rug and arched my back.
You licked and lapped at my nine lives against
Your one; that rasping tongue had tasted wrack.

So it goes: now each curve and air-built fold
Is dust that charcoal fingers cannot hold.

Copyright © 2013, Zoë Mitchell
Go to the writer’s page