By William Scott
Toxic from cheap though fresh carpet
disinterested soothe of state décor;
Squares upholstered in clan-less plaid
(a fate-filled half smile)
bore their weight.
Breathing shallow so as not to draw the deadly newness too deeply,
he willed to fill his lungs as bellows
to shout words only partly composed
to give groan to silence.
To make visible his intestines.
But such yearning is impossible [heretical (primitive)].
Her, 'This-will-help-me-in-my-practice', nonchalance was frail.
He would either hold her sorrow,
or scold this folly and flee.
He daren’t name the obvious, lest she doubt;
the world regressing toward barbarism;
They sat in morbid wait.
pulling untimely fruit from the Tree,
whipping each more ferociously against the garage wall.
Bounced back, some.
dropped down, some.
One, masticated by stucco,
Paused like road kill,
then dropped purpose-ruined
onto the pile of pale green flesh.
In the street they began to build a flimsy arbour.
Gaze averted, they tacked together assurance
through parallel praise of unseasonable warmth
and chartreusean growth.
Fecundity pruned for prosperity,
the blossomed branches
scratched and scourged the pink flesh of his cowardice.
Had she been waiting on a husbandman’s promise;
hand recoiling at the rate
unturned earth between,
never touched again.