A modern luxury – growing old –
the fraying armchair’s hard embrace,
blued lips mime forgotten names,
while twilight dusts the stranglehold.

Fragile bone and failing sight,
a foggy stumble through the head.
Gulliver is telling tales –
a voice that flickers through the night.

Sunlight shafts the parted drape,
lights the garden’s neat coiffure –
the discipline of vegetation
masks the clock, belies the cure.

Antiseptic bites the kiss
met in taxidermic glaze –
touch, the practised latex hands,
that clean away the spittle, piss.

© Caroline Fox Betts 2010

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