Flightless Gift in a Pub Garden

by Euan Tait

Like she-god had finally reached
beneath your skin, touched you
on the blackened, exposed bone
of your thigh, plucked the string
of forgotten, adolescent cigarettes
that threaded around your blood:
so you said when you freely gave
the story, your winter in hospital,
the fight failing you, that for all
you’d gone through, it had spread,
and, shaking, you talked excitedly
of death as an undiscovered sister
now your wish for love, for touch,
was extinct as the muted chatter
of vanished, featherless birds.