They stick themselves all over my dreams, the women,
all over Jo,
they intervene thin as paper-lines across the page.
I tear them off, like postage stamps
but they glue themselves fast
I tear one off but she clings
I tear her off but she's back again
flattening herself thin as paper pressed on board pressed on hard.
It's like slaps in the face as I grapple with them. I need muscles, I need
strength. I need bone. So I can cling to my rock and grow hard,
and grow thin layers of ridges round that
pain; and spin a pearl inside
become that within
which bears no mark of the world.