from Bad Moon

by Samantha Walton

they told us to watch for omens
signs in the sky
flashes of
sick & warning light
as if
anyone could read
distant explosions
they told us
when it happens
someone will know

reading the clouds
i know
i am far too late for
low & sultry dawn
i want your animal breath
in bed
warm & distant
we’ve been taught
to read the skin
the scattered rash
staining with
ugly tears
like cirriform
i want to turn the cards up on your flesh
this is not the time for metaphors

on tv the
sun is strobing like a wound
we mix tea
turn leaves with a slow steel spoon
see how the ash has fallen
into star shapes
strange shapes
& then,
we wipe the kitchen clean
unplug wires
bury ancient appliances
we measure out our time in matches
the black sheet of oil
make clothes
from spores
the shells of
lost, cracked animals
the sun, a white ball
scored as with a blade

we can’t agree
on anything
but we know that
dusk comes earlier
each day
summer coiling into night
the way the light flows backwards
the moon
a red spot on a burnt-out sky
you tell me no
you’re imagining
the scent of sulphur
water running up the wall

between sirens
the port-wall shines like an icon
i place three stones into my mouth
wait for the words to form
graze of gold against my teeth
the ribbed edge of my gums
my tongue
pressed & burning
meanwhile the vanishing point is
trending without romance
i make complicated gestures towards the sea
the dead regimes of water
i start ceremony
& end – shy – much too soon