When he mentions the Right Names
she begins to think of bees.
When his Conquests get an airing
she feels like being elsewhere.
By the time he gets around to the First Million
her head is a swarm.
Shocked he thinks her face is Distressed
but closer, it is a complete intensity.
And then the queen streaks into the sky
and her face takes flight, is gone.
A few last workers trailing off
where once had been her arms.
Her clothes collapse, empty as his mouth
about to say: ‘Honey?’
Source: Salom, P 1993, Feeding the ghost, Penguin Books, London.