Spilt Milk

Two soluble aspirins spore in this glass, their mycelia
fruiting the water, which I twist into milkiness.
The whole world seems to slide into the drain by my window.

It has rained and rained since you left, the streets black
and muscled with water. Out of pain and exhaustion you came
into my mouth, covering my tongue with your good and bitter milk.

Now I find you have cashed that cheque. I imagine you
slipping the paper under steel and glass. I sit here in a circle
of lamplight, studying women of nine hundred years past.

My hand moves into darkness as I write, The adulterous woman
lost her nose and ears; the man was fined. I drain the glass.
I still want to return to that hotel room by the station

to hear all night the goods trains coming and leaving.


'Spilt Milt' from Spilt Milk (Poetry Book Society, 2007), © Sarah Maguire 1991, used by permission of the author.

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Sarah Maguire

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1Vigil

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2Almost the Equinox

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3Cow Parsley, Bluebells

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4The Grass Church at Dilston Grove

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5The Fracture Clinic

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6The Invisible Mender

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7My Father's Piano

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8The Hearing Cure

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9Tidemarks

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10Traveling Northward

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11May Day, 1986

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12Wolves Are Massing on the Steppes of Kazakhstan

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13From Dublin to Ramallah

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14Zaata

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15The Pomegranates of Kandahar

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16The Florist's at Midnight

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17The Mist Bench

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18Year-Round Chrysanthemums

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19My Grafting Knife

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20The Tree Bank at Ten

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21Cotton Boll

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22Europe

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23Mahbouba Zaidi’s Hands

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24Hibiscus

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25Damascene

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26Cloves and Oranges

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27Jasmine in Yemen

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28Rosemary

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29The Jardin des Plantes

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30Proof

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31Psoriasis

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32Dust

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33Spilt Milk

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