In Bed With Macbeth
Published in The Methuen Book of Theatre Verse
I hear him now, the candle gutters
on his wrist. I can't close my eyes,
the bone-rings clench my jaw, it stutters
inside the skull, cold water in drips.
He puts his back to me and sighs
like a mouse lamed in a trap -
every night the same but neither cries,
staring and apart in one big coffin.
I take my hand and make it slip
Between his legs, to stop the thinking.
He twists his neck and bites my lips,
our gooseflesh chafes the bed-fur.
He drags my head down to his lap
And knots my hair in his fist.
A child calls twice and the moon wraps
herself in a mist for shame.
If I held a cup now, I'd let it sip
until I were drowned in the drinking.
I'd take my hands and make them dip
in the wine to make the nails clean.
If I held a knife now, I'd let it drive
between my eye and my crack.
If I were a child and called out twice,
Would my mother come for my sin?
I hear him now, he groans and mutters,
and swears by his Christ as he lies.
And now he starts his dead man's shudders,
Whilst I brood my sores to the quick.