Pelt

Pelt

I found the world's pelt
nailed to the picture-rail
of a box-room in a cheap hotel.

So that's why rivers dry to scabs,
that's why the grass weeps every dawn,
that's why the wind feels raw:

the earth's an open wound,
and here, its skin hangs
like a trophy, atrophied beyond all

taxidermy, shrunk into a hearth rug.
Who fleeced it?
No record in the guest-book.

No-one paid, just pocketed the blade
and walked, leaving the bed
untouched, TV pleasing itself.

Maybe there was no knife.
Maybe the world shrugs off a hide
each year to grow a fresh one.

That pelt was thick as reindeer,
so black it flashed with blue.
I tried it on, of course, but no.


from Corpus (Cape, 2004), copyright © Michael Symmons Roberts 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Buy album £0.00

1The Lung Wash

2Sun-Dogs

3Pelt

4Ascension Day

5Mapping the Genome

6To John Donne

7Why We Are Still Waiting

8Ultramarine

9The Shortest Day

10Cats Eye

11The Structure of Genes

12JWs in NSW

13Soft Keys

14Messaien in Gurlitz 1940

15Annunciation at the Hookses

16Touched

17The Qualities of Fallout

18A Storm

19The Ram-Raid

20Strange Meeting

21Corpse

22Corporeality

23The Box

24Jairus

25Grounded

26Carnivorous - I

27Food for Risen Bodies - I

28Carnivorous - II

29Food for Risen Bodies - II

30Carnivorous - III

31Food for Risen Bodies - III

32Carnivorous - IV

33Food for Risen Bodies - IV

34Carnivorous - V

35Food for Risen Bodies - V

36The Frequency

37Food for Risen Bodies - VI

38Anatomy of a Perfect Dive

39Smithereens

40The Gifts

41Replica

42The Botanical Gardens

43Compline

Books by Michael Symmons Roberts