Fragmentation

by Harriet McCulloch

That summer words came broken to their lips,

falling in pieces, their mouths unheard, sly –

or else choked by the sprouting freckles, shy

colour in the down of their forearms. Eclipsed

by the glance of a hand on the sheet, the

moths and the white noise hum of heat in the air,

aching and battering the light: bare,

beaten, drumming down the sun. Persistently,

the air hung closer, insidious, sweet,

pinning arms to sides, clothes clinging, sheened.

Drowsy wasps murmured, jolted, gleaned

from the air, falling sacrificial at their feet.

 

From the air, falling, sacrificial at their feet

drowsy wasps, murmured, jolted, gleaned.

Pinning arms to sides, clothes clinging, sheened –

the air hung closer, insidious, sweet, bare,

beaten, drumming down the sun. Persistently

aching and battering the light: bare

moths and the white noise hum of heat in the air.

By the glance of a hand on the sheet, the

colour in the down of their forearms eclipsed,

or else choked by the sprouting freckles, shy.

Falling in pieces, their mouths unheard, sly –

that summer, words came broken to their lips.