The sun scoured the horizon until the sky bled,
a scarlet strip of grit.
We wandered through a valley
where vacant swings dipped,
stilled in the early evening mist;
the slides were glossed grey,
slick as quicksilver. Our children
played there once.
The blackberry bushes parted
as though you were Moses, I carried
the warm limp of your hand in mine.
There we found twilight.
The fruit perfumed its corridors,
the branches snagged us like desperate talons,
the leaves burned dark,
the shadows of corpses.
The boughs closed in around us,
the drawn drapes after some theatrical parade.
There were so many of them, deep
purple and so fat they could have passed
as plums, bleeding their corpuscles
like a damage, a wound. The long savage
shadows crept upon them to darken
my corners. I remembered myself inwardly.
I lay down in a bed of nettles,
a thorny duvet that stung my skin;
the berries hovered round me like wasps,
the grass was soft. The bushes were archives
housing the swarms of tiny insects that
roused on meshed wings beneath
the crunch of our footfalls.
I could have inhaled them like dust.
Caroline Misner's Other Poems
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