Viv Smith 2014

for Susa

Within your softness this

small enormous mass becoming

a difficult bugger, all consuming,

while part of me jangles

diverted by car keys ― I am

a friend with a towbar and

Richard needs to off-load.


You never could handle unnatural

holes unleashed by metal piercing

flesh, removing forks from your table

as if a natural spoon curve would

be enough to protect. Today

I can’t countenance the savagery

of knives. For you, I set my table


with wooden spoons and meditate

with keys like mala beads. I calm

my skip-squeaky fantail breath

to light down on the branches

of my lungs, my chest full of slight

touch-point slivers, gentle clawing

for core wood. A careful adaption


to hold as one would implements

that carve a heartful breast away

this mastectomy day. Testing metal,

tasting base, the unsteady knock and

grasp on wood ― I am a friend

clinging to attachment too

damned scared to off-load.