Each night she lies in bed,
listens to her heart's percussive
knocking from basement to attic,
sometimes a scratch, a thud,
a ceaseless pecking,
as if an animal menangerie
of wild, exotic creatures
is in residence.

Sometimes a line from a song
drifts the dark, coils
like a smoke-ring around her;
a stray scent – musk roses, oranges,
the mineral smell of blood.
How can she live with this heart,
holding such freight,
wearing its old walls thin.

Frances-Anne King

Andrew Wells