Carol Ann Duffy


But when we rowed,
the room swayed and sank down on its knees,
the air hurt and purpled like a bruise,
the sun banged the gate in the sky and fled.

But when we rowed,
the trees wept and threw away their leaves,
the day ripped the hours from our lives,
the sheets and pillows shredded themselves on the bed.

But when we rowed,
our mouths knew no kiss, no kiss, no kiss,
our hearts were jagged stones in our fists,
the garden sprouted bones, grown from the dead.

But when we rowed,
your face planked like a page erased of words,
my hands squeezed themselves, burned like verbs,
love turned, and ran, and cowered in our heads.