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There are                      moths around the cupboard

There is                      lamb in the oven.

Call them a swarm if                      you like:

Cruel and unloving                      are those who fill their houses

With                      shut doors shudderingly caressed.


The lamb is in                      the oven and has the smell

Of complacently falling                      autumn rain;

The swarm becomes a                      stain if we

Don’t do something about them;                     whose beating of wings

Beating against                     the cupboard door

Will get them                      nowhere:

They hover,                     rain is hovering

Acridly roast lamb                      perfumed

Above all this parched scorched                      waterlogged ghost ground.

Above                       days picked apart in delicate paper curtain wings:

We  must                       delicately cohabit.


My skin used to shrink                     when moths landed

On it;                     as cooking meat

Shrinks to itself,                     water abandoning; as the 

Moths return                     to me now with

The tenderness                      of cars to evening driveways

As wings shudderingly shrink                     together. 

Sticky                       legged is

Our                      wallowing in our giving in,

Our                      passion’s burning;

Our                      lamb

Oven-roasted oven                      cremated

Our                      prime   Agnus Dei. 



* Harry Lauchlan