Death does not


Death does not creep up
like a sweat upon the collar, a thick rim
round the porcelain basin,
or scurf in the ham-boiled pan.

It is a strand of silver
thread through a black button,
a knot in the heart
surrendered to love
by a parlour-maid in a garden
one evening when the lilies
burn with white desire.

The whirlwind does not
extinguish its blaze:
there is nothing but
a forgetful spark
on a tourniquet of diamonds.

From Looks Familiar