Nobody traced a sonnet with any other view
than the intense one you cast on one you pitied and then slew –
that loving mix of mercy with a hint of disgust
which is the mark of someone who’s marbled out of dust.
Some say no rhyme can satisfy – time has too rough a skill
to halt the pressured arc of youth un-flexed to flex the kill;
that there's no meter indented enough to seem so real
as the imprint of a pair of thighs the fingertips can feel.
Yet the surface of your skin's not left by marks that do not press
against the paper of nothing, impermeably undressed,
and your body does not harden to a nib that does not rest
upon the blank sheet of nothing with nothing to express
unless unflesh could flesh the life to feel, you could not say
‘Unlike black marks un-masking white, I only turn one way.’