of the freshly laundered
crisp white dawn of the first morning,
an unexpected crease appears on his shirt.
He watches the fault-line grow and spread
upon his skin, how the spidery network
threads itself into him,
a tapestry tricked out with branching vessels
dividing again and again, beyond
the smallest molecule of quantum
particle physics, beyond all bounds
of possibility and perhaps
even further than that.
He curses as he works all day.
He has to work all day in the midst
of his unkempt self with the weight
of imperfect weft like creeping serpents
round his heart.
Evening comes at last.
He arrives home, pulls off
the offending shirt and rips away
his indelibly marked skin
from its sticky, sinewed moorings.
Unthreading veins, unknotting bones, he neatly folds
his organs in a corner stacking the smallest
at the top in a logical and balanced way.
At last, he is naked, invisible
in his little room. Through warped shadows
he lays himself on cold cotton sheets, wrung out,
exhausted. His bed winds him
tighter and tighter in its wormy cocoon,
as he spins ever faster into
Anne Lawrence Bradshaw comes from the North of England and is a graduate of English Literature. Her work has been recently published in Orbis, Acumen and Artemis (UK literary magazines) and dozens of ezines. She lives a quiet life and treads lightly on the earth. When writing, however, she prefers to delve beneath the surface and seek out hidden anomalies, quiet monsters and the occasionally unexpected.