The Empty Vase by Jenni Fagan

(from her book "Urchin Belle" published by Blackheath Books)

The eighth floor of the tenement view
sliced in three, an' in the centre you sit
naked on a table, legs in lotus, drinking light.

Petal hair an' opal eyes, your fingers
see through, you lick their salt, saliva
scents dry air, the vase contracts, a sigh.

Black clouds settle low around the volcano
outside, crags with their jagged ancients
grumble, a flash of blue, further even than waves.

You, naked silk, drinking light orange to grey,
you're bone-thin, pretty evermore, purple petals
for hair, the empty vase, iridescent perfection.

You incite storms to gather, veins see through
as octopi, petals falling slow into the vase,
browning as the view beckons in the night.

We must follow our stupid hearts, so you sleep
quiet as night an' just as true, nestled in petals,
glass folds around your dreams, tucks you in goodnight.

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