These shadows rise,
wavering in the smoke
that ebbs from the hollows
of your eyes.

Your mouth is bleeding silver
and I…
I bind my hair in diamond nets
and choke on my mother’s pearls.

All for which I’m sorry
you already know.
Our better selves, blushing,
have died out in the cold.

Virgin, I pluck my hair,
and leave my scalp a no man’s land
of love-coloured liquid
over which to drag my nails.

This last scrap of innocence
is an insect burrowing
deep inside.

Its little teeth
grind straight through to the bone.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017