His hot hands

His hot hands are cold on her body.
Furious frost-bit fingers
Fumble obscene gestures;
Etch crude images
In her imperfect skin.

This time,
She does not struggle
To interpret the symbolism
Of those fine lines;
Differentiates graffiti from art.
Still, she accepts,
There seldom is an outcry
When an already condemned building
Is defaced.

Damp and rot penetrate deep.
Thick timber structures
Unfurl fibre by fibre;
Curl inward in revulsion.
Brick-bulked masonry mass,
Slow strength
Built in compression,
Still yields to wet persistence.

In the space of her silent complicity,
She continues to consider the significance
Of historic buildings,
The merits of the arts,
Recognises that she has long-committed
To the inevitability of her

She had been the first
To defile her own soft, sacred flesh.
She had been unblemished
Yet she stripped her cladding,
Clawed and tore at her softness
In desperate terror
Of her deafening aloneness.
Scarred herself with her secrets
In serif-ed fonts.
She had been the perpetrator of her pain
And she had wounded herself in her urgency to escape.

Today she is quiet.
Accustomed to the convenience
Of fault and guilt,
Her mind wanders the boroughs of a sparse city
As he contents himself.
Choking on his pooling drool, he snores.
She lies awake.


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