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James Byrne, from Blood / Sugar

Dowry for an Aerophobic

for Sandeep

Cymophane.
Silvering mineral.
The cat's-eye winks
from its luteous coat.

Vitreous, though resolute,
its kindly glamour
kin-quartz,
kin-tourmaline,

though a purer mix —
history pinioned,
no bigger than an eyeball.

Between flights and cities,
beyond the laps of mothers
and the tactical silence of old men,

its deep veins sparkle —
my fingertips inch out
while yours smooth
over the dark green trussing.

Close up,
the borosilicate twinkles,
fire-scented,
peppery beneath the sheen,

each striation coils back
to a hoard of riches —
Azilian ruby, liquid fossil, beryllium.

(It's enough to pearl a lithologist's pupil.)

Notice how —
in the flat of your palm —
electricity stirs

clockwise.

Counter-clockwise.