When better to rethink a poem than during the early hours when sleep unravels. Here's a difference to my artwork: once a piece is declared done it hardly ever changes again, whereas a poem niggles away at me until I return to it, over and over.
Last she pawns her tongue, for coins and crumbs,
belly a howling hollow; her books long gone,
a copper for thick tresses.
Scooped, scoured homeland, stony bane: her throat
sifts seeds of silence. She shades her eyes
but signs seep like tears.
For years she scrimps, heaving with voice and verse.
Folks come, unshout their woes, the loot and litter
of their souls, and ravaged faces soften.
Scalp bristling cold, she bears a bundle home.
She spreads stained cloth: out rolls a dull, brown,
shrivelled thing, with raised blue veins
and a diaphanous fin.
Her mouth's a bony lair, where nothing lives.
Tuber, muscle, earthworm, stiff as a bell's tongue -
she waits to feel it wake.