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.