You said the earliest fouling was wide,
a machine’s song and an enchanting drink,
though this never made you bitter.
Yet, it was callous on the exterior
like the tease of a whale
encrusted by passing ships.
You liked me and the water,
I was weightless,
and soluble made you smile.
Then your skin became a colourless
carnival where the midway’s pulsating
lights burnt out, one by one.
Who knew you’d pull chalk from
your pocket marking a gap, a perfect place,
a space where no-one was allowed.
While your eyes drummed deep on me
as I tried to collect coins, to put them in
the magic machine to erase those hours,
and my knucklebones turned a white
hymn off the thimbled-wheels.
I remember the kiss you took from me
when I looked away.