6TH ISSUE LITERATURE

The Bouquet of Knots

Les Wicks

I gave my body away.
No big thing,
her hands have taken offerings like this endlessly.

Undressing without context
I talk about my left shoulder, she
has a raptor’s focus reading
my Cyrillic of stress. On the massage table towels are tucked about,
a warm oil across the back Marta
is a backpacker from Argentina this craft
has worked her way across continents.

One is lulled by the music,
by the tides of irenic pressure
lapping at the spine.
Then she seizes a muscle like some miscreant,
it’s throttled to passivity.
Pressure okay?
My eloquent grunts pass for language.

Bifurcated, in time there are two entities here, those parts
she’s sundered  then soothed, those
bits remaining tight & sore almost
migrating toward the salved centres already done.

I have no body.
She has no body.
There is palpation & pulse.

A sensuality, navigation or negotiation
the rough defaults of pain put down.
She reaches angularities & teaches me
that each corner is a birth of direction.
You were pretty tense.

My hair is a tussle,
I totter towards the door
stupidly complete.

Over 40 years Wicks has performed widely across the globe. Published in over 350 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 28 countries in 15 languages. Conducts workshops & runs Meuse Press which focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses & poetry published on the surface of a river. His 14th book of poetry is Belief (Flying Islands, 2019). 

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