The Drug Dealer’s Wife

The drug dealer’s wife is dressed
in silks and leather; amber beads
circle her neck, diamonds drip
from her ear-lobes. His long fingers
trace her veins from wrist to elbow,
heart beating; she is infused.

A cramped desire blots his eyes,
obliterating the inky sky.
He clambers, boneless,
up from the deep, vestigial
limbs muscling, failing,
engorged with memory:

her touch, her soft arms clad
in fabric permeated with want;
the spectacle they made, entering a room.
Her beauty, his power, fragile as oak
hollowed to dust, roots adrift
in a cloud of decomposition;

the longing she carries, unbeknown,
a magnet no-one can touch.
She wears obsession on her breast,
sucked dry of all but the stale perfume
of long desire locked in circles;
amber, worn like a collar of fire.

Surprisingly the dealer’s wife
walks to the centre of this crowded room,
shedding her skins layer by layer
until she stands naked; a final clink
as an earring drops. Before she leaves
she lays her amber circlet upon a mound

of red silk, creamy leather, moss-
green wool so finely spun; all her
desires visible now, cleansed of hope.
The dealer falls, knees crushing
her tortured fabric; in a frenzy of
sniffing and scenting he devours

her absence, his face a mask
of remembered desire as he
bellows at the pile, lashing his body
with her silken sheaths. Finally,
he weeps, finally, swallowing
her amber beads one by one.