Three Words

I wanted to say the words
But my tongue was caught
By the betty-cat
Of unbirths,
And she toyed with my young
Westward-welded unguent
In September sequestered sun
As if pronouns and verbs
Transmogrified to rannies
The mog should not have maimed
In the nooks of sheds
And bothy-basement crannies,
But killed slowly
All the same,
Just for the thrill
Of being a cat;
I remember how you arranged
The days for me, and also
Your hair in the odango-bun
Or sometimes braids,
Your blouse’s top two buttons
Undone, then three,
And I tried again
To speak the trinity,
Letters both simple and complex,
For the curse to which love was adrift
Since the Year of the Goat
Deposited frogs in the hex
In the back of my throat
And I choked on the terms
Of what I deserved,
Sentences decomposing curves,
The memory today is as clear
As an unturbid stream
In the mind’s deep ravine,
Framed like the photographs
Of weddings and blessings
On your mantelpiece,
Preserving a moment
I am doomed to repeat.

One thought on “Three Words

  1. In Norfolk dialect, a ranny is a shrew or mouse (in this case a mouse), and betty-cat is a female cat.


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