To be, to see, to be seen,
the way a poem sculpts in
two dimensions visions no
one else cares to mention, so
she is, or was then, at least,
when, pen in hand, I went to
meet Izebhel, the brothel


halls lined with men, with women,
their isolation’s pent-up
frustration taking them to
her side, sighing, vying to
lie with her, to begin what
each wished would never end, this
purchased affection’s perfect


illusion, its ill-intent’s
confusion of motive for
explosive passion excuse
enough to be used by her,
to become withered, flowers
offered votive in moments
Izebhel’s turnover lured


closer our dishonoured horde,
uncertainty treasured more
than anything sure, ‘Never
close the door,’ we always heard,
‘Alone, poor soul, and you will
be devoured whole,’ for in
feasting with panthers he, or


she, who peaks before falls prey
to her prowl, bowled over, howled
at with cajoling laughter
which scatters one’s bones across
creaking floors, completely floored,
recovery periods
punctuating florid words


reek of misfortunes returned
sevenfold to those so bold
as to behold in her eyes
their own plucked out whole not as
reward, but toll, taken to
ensure our rumours never
return when confirmed, lover


as much a role performed as
earned, rarely, if ever at
all, even properly paid
for, and there and then I played
favourite courtier, Queen
Lilith’s preferred paramour,
in Izebhel’s boudoir warmed.