I didn’t dare use words,
their lanterns dimmed in vodka,
laced with olive grease.
You sent me surreptitious signals:
pour the wine and smile!  
Each time I spoke our secret
boomed within my inner ear,
the boiling oil of noisy blood.

The four of us, friends;
it didn’t bear being thought about.
And so we mainly did not.
Though even so, Ursula
picked us out – like fish bones.
Placed four in an empty snail shell.
Crushed them with a click of heel
as we walked home. She said,
No doubt you’ll write about that.
Her grimace: hammer, stirrup, bone.


Richard Moorhead