The writer at half past five

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Every word's dipped in blood Marinated in sweat, seasoned with doubt I draped a comma in a commemorative flag When the clock chimed half past four You enshrine a semicolon Canonize a verb Beatify some errant phrase When the seconds stretch like rubber bands Then snap, boomerang and ricochet Hurling you back on the blank page Every sentence is etched in acid We chisel them from the marrow of our bones Every stanza's carved in some corner of the heart Awaiting a nod, a smile, an unsolicited embrace We fling wide our arms and grasp at air Hunger and thirst for living flesh Starved on a diet of prepositions We lust after the key in the lock, the familiar face in the door frame.

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