“Please do come round for tea” said She to He.
They sat in tiled and painted spaces and considered each other’s faces.
He was the carved frescoes lost heroes.
She, the painted and gilt goddess on the ceiling –
Tempting Fate to a snake-bite bed.
They sipped coloured liquids,
The lightshades of stained glasses above His head.
Their hands brushed over fumblings for silver spoons.
And the clink of bone china made etchings on their soundscape.
They had entire histories described for them upon the walls.
But He paid no heed to prior mishaps in relief.
They sipped until Her finest set was dry.
She swept it to the floor
Where it expanded in a flurry of footprint clouds.
She scooped the settling dust and softly blew it into His eyes.
The tea-set powder burned and stung.
He flung his bones against the marble scenes protruding at his spine.
Smothering moments of woe and war.
Of love and lies picked out in compacted debris.
She pressed in and kissed Him once and twice together.
Cold touches of brittle cartilage
That made his blood run dry -
Like the finished tea upon the floor.
They were swallowed by ceramic.
Light span through tinted glass to illuminate Their stone set faces -
Locked in a kiss of composite shells.
Trapped in calcium compounds.
Wrung out leaves remained upon the terracotta tiles.
Perhaps they spelt the shape of misfortune.
Or desire and loneliness combined.
A ribbon of text inscribed itself about Their heads
A Roman-fonted message to those taking tea unchecked:
"And the Thirsty crushed beneath their weight to stone.
And the china turned to china what was bone. "