My words in her mind: cold polished stones sinking through a quagmire.

Those quiet cold fingers have touched the pages, foul and fair, on which my shame shall glow for ever. Quiet and cold and pure fingers, have they never erred?

Her body has no smell: an odourless flower.

On the stairs. A cold frail hand: shyness, silence: dark langour-flooded eyes: weariness.

illustration