Love Song for a Keeper by Miriam Nash
If nothing of us lasts past seven years,
each speck of skin replaced, old cells reborn,
then soon the crisscross lines inside your palm
where I pretended to read kids, careers,
won’t recognise my thumbprints anymore.
This fleck of face, that furthest tip of tongue,
whole parts of us will never know they touched,
nights when our tiny room swelled up with breath,
till one window exhaled for us at dawn.
Then will our new skin falter in the sudden
cold unknown? Will bones be what we dig for?
As our chests press again, stranger to stranger,
our particles in motion, trembling, raw,
let my flesh blaze to yours, for seven more.
From All the Prayers in the House (Bloodaxe Books, 2017).
Image description: Only Miriam’s face is pictured in the video. She is White, with neck-length, brown hair and one gold, leaf-shaped ear-ring visible. She is wearing plum coloured lipstick. She smiles several times as she reads the poem.