Vicki Feaver
Without you, I prefer the nights:
the darkness inside me

like the darkness around. All day
I am alone with my emptiness:

a white space, with nothing to feed it
but light and shadow.

My claw feet can’t follow you.
I have no voice to call you.

I only know you are near by scents-
orange oil, or lavender – and by a heat

that creeps up my cold skin
and tells me I will feel again

the weight of your body. You have no idea
how wonderful it is to hold you,

to have you lie so still, so happy.
When you move, I hear a whoosh

and you touch me in so many places
I’m trembling and tingling.

It’s spoiled by fear of your going.
Sometimes, I pretend I’m a cradle

for you to sleep in – but you always wake;
or a womb – but you still escape,

leaping out and leaving me.
So next time you come, I’ll be a coffin

filled with chilling water
in which you will stay for ever.