You notice the deep shovels of
his hands are a combed-beach
collection of scratches, the knuckles
all wrecked, and still raw as lies.
Black flecks like question marks
on a map, sunken into the skin;
you assume them to be thorns,
but brambles rather than roses.
From beneath the frayed cuffs of
a cheap, over-worn shirt, the unruly
wire of bronze hair emerging, and
the first inch of a louder scar of
inscrutable tissue becomes visible;
terminus, direction of travel, unclear.
Somewhere in the high dome of his
chest, behind its tidal movements,
and quiet at the centre of it all,
perhaps a heart, a core you cannot
know, how securely it beats, if
at all. And you, continuing to tell
yourself just how little you care.
Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland, and writes poetry, short stories and non-fiction. His poetry has appeared recently in Clear Poetry, Alliterati, and Firewords.