Constraint beads on you like dew on a rose, you cannot
shake it loose. Your tiny Puck hiccups
from deep inside; he’s drunk, again; your lot,
again, is once more with the clearing up.           
Deferrals of your pleasures measure out
in ever longer stretches; where once were weeks
there now loom years. Your fool, your lout,
your parasite has all the fun, his needs
met every time unasked. Meanwhile you pale,
you struggle to draw breath, refuse the stairs –
and him? He’ll suck your marrow dry and wail   
for more, more meat, more blood, he doesn’t care –
turns somersaults and kicks your ribs, would swear
if only he knew how. He’s yours to bear.


Natalie Shaw