The Burglary


We purr in cool leather boots,
slip on gloves, our double skins.
We are seen in the first garden
by not my mother but an anxious lookalike,
hair blowing the wrong way,
streaked across one eye like brandy-butter
on the other side of the street.
We move through the garden like nightfall,
panther-slick, with daggers in our pockets.
I wave with one dark hand.
Hush, listen, crouched at the mouth
of the letterbox– how the red pulse thrashes,
minnows slapping in blood-nets.
Even the moon has a bloodshot eye.

A hot night, the windows widen–
astonished eyes, doors gasping in frames
where sodium lights boil bright
in the secret hours, every home a prisoner
numbered with brass. We spit ourselves
in through the windows, cats on leathered pads,
and ransack the house–
uprooting shadows and LCD,
pocketing jewels, our smooth green eggs.

Somewhere, deep in the bedroom,
a woman dressed in aching silk
lies awake next to the bookcase,
watching over the things no one takes:
a couple of crinkled paperbacks,
crushed lipsticks.
Alarmed by the shape of her shadow,
I pocket her pearls and run.


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