Gaia Holmes’s ‘Charm’

 
Charm
Gaia Holmes
 
He could charm the poison out of fox gloves
and used his skills to quicken my heart.
I wondered what he fed on: frayed liturgies
and the secret dreams of women,
toxic spores translated into messages
of lust, slivers of the dank March sky
rolled up like pickled herring.
I never knew. He always skimmed me,
left me hooked on some potent pollen,
some sacrificial line,
some cold gap between sentiments.
His fingers were like cathedrals,
too big to untie my delicate knots
yet he knew me inside out like he knew
the names of flowers and bats and clouds,
like he knew how to throw daggers
without skewering the soul.
He could sniff out creeping wolf-men
and crack their backbones with a lazy wink,
worked my fingers to his throat
like a snake charmer,
made me slide and arch with his singing breath.
After we’d loved and I was doped up on glow
he laid wet silver on my eyelids
believing it would bring him luck.

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