Least Concern

by James Brookes


The hawk was on the wing, then on the glove

and in the breath between, the briefest moment, 

she stooped, arrested, and caressed my scalp:


my childhood’s unthinned hair parted like flax.

I felt, more dear than any lover’s since,

her touch. The cutthroat concave of each falx.

I had no chance, no time, to flinch or wince.


Now all my senses fasten like a clasp

upon this memory, this gift, this omen

I know now was not love – could not be love.  


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