Howard Firkin
I think of him
that sweet, dull man
who called you Honey
while he poured cold water on your words
then had to watch
as they and you
dissolved away
and left him for another city.

wasn’t possible.
You knew.
You flew
to something like adventure,
something you could shape
into escape
escape into.
You grew into a newer you.

I think of him.
I see him think of you,
the you you hardly recognise,
the you with icing sugar skin he kisses,
watches melt onto his lips, his tongue,
the you he tastes again
and still calls honey.

I see him think.
You dance with other men.
You touch their skin.
Your words insert themselves into their mouths,
dissolve like sugar
and they swallow you.
He sees you dust your skin with words and let them lap
and swallow,
lap and swallow,
feeding on your sugared skin,
lips sticky with your kissing them,
tongues swollen with the honey
of your sweet and permanent goodbye.

I think of him.
He thinks a phrase
he thinks he heard from you.
Who else?
That skin, those sweet,
those stinging words that he could barely follow
lap and swallow.
Who else but you had words for him?
Your words
distilling (all those) days into a (single) phrase:
the violence of nectar.