Psychopompous (Until Dust Chokes Their Veins)

                    i. Poison the River

Colour of steamed mussel the way
coffee cream poured into tea paints
a grey day and orange pekoe
ageing beige aching to break, seems

neutral, subtle, subdued, how his
flesh did too, then and this week, laid
against my wishes those finger-
tips as if kisses unfurled things

soft as whispered secrets from tamed
fists obeying peace for once to
say what sight better than foreplay’s
touch can convey, how bruises know

better than those heroes what pain
does when thorns of greed choke all growth

                    ii. Burn the Bridge

of underworld flowers which wait
until they surface to flourish,
how rape has discouraged gemstones
their glow, denied lovers their gleam’s

purchase, taken from worthier
faces too rough a toll, made fade
into almost total blindfolds
of obscurity we whose seams

unravel from gold scalding frays
not soon going cold, survival
of another’s desire always
will spoil the load, hold close he who

conquistadors your whole journey’s
purpose, be forewarned: he will ghost.