Their whiteness bears no relation to laundry

lard, onions, pastry,

cotton vests for a second baby.


Wind-picked rabbit skulls

and tic-infested ewes, have refused


to ingratiate themselves sufficiently

to be referenced. O for a knocked up


white with an improper hue

stolen from a blood-suckled


moon, tucked like a bump

up a jumper. White as a compound


too bulky for navvies to heave

from the slurp of the loam. Fractious


calcium, where skin chances on bone.

The pitch and resist of his cheek –  


sticky as a fallen damson.


*The title of this poem is taken from ‘Magi’ by Sylvia Plath