Thursday, 18 June 2015

A stain, a gift, a shadow

Hiding in a toilet stall,
I photograph the bruise:
this capillary trace of the way your cupped palms
made their percussive contact with my skin.

I call it bruise: it's really just a hint
of sepia, a watercolour tint,
a stain, a gift, the shadow of your fist.
Impermanent: not tattoo, still less brand,

it aches to be recorded. With inexpert hands,
that I would never think to cup when striking,
I tilt my phone, I shoot the spot and wish
you'd left behind a far more livid kiss.

This loving violence I memorialise
perhaps more than is necessary or true.
This mark, this ghost desire left behind:
I take its photo, and I name it bruise.

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