A Bitten Cherry Rubbed Across Throbbing Lips

          For Jess Wood—

Watching you perform’s like making love
with the lights on and the curtains wide
opened. Hearing your voice feels the way
a bitten cherry rubbed across throbbing lips does,

soft as crushed velvet coloured crimson
with the stains of so many secrets
everyone experiences
again. The first time for Them, when They listen in

how Someone Else inevitably
becomes Us. We welcome being this
transfixed by one so mysterious
and intuitive as to give audiences

glimpses of what from within you gift,
from behind punchlines drunken kisses
tickling inside minds your insight rubs
against. A crushing of words under grinning pearls

brushing off what others less assured
would let best their efforts, crash and burn
beyond return or recognition.
But in being so challenging, you accomplish

shifting perceptions, injecting some
perspective getting reactions from
accomplices whose crime has been to
go on this long living an ignorance you cleanse.

By such openness, open as lips
hustling their own spread of spirited
truth no one more truly than you lives,
how rooms fill with rumours true love extinguishes.