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Lavender by Elizabeth Gibson

You never had much time for lavender,
but savour the ghost of honey in my last soap,
lingering on hands and nerves in wrists,
the wooden slats of a bed I will never own.

I burrowed into the roots of the library,
where a kid teased rivers from the piano.
I picked out old cookbooks full of berries.
You stroke their pictures, feet in the air.

We drift in and out of our pink shorts –
I have endless pairs from my Spain days.
I treasure my rare snapshots of ladybirds,
mourn the end of the tiger caterpillars.

No butterflies get trapped here anymore,
only flies and mosquitoes, and the moths
I try to decode like yellow flaking bibles.
We allow them to stay, keep our lights low.

The radio says, all buses have vanished
from Manchester, and all trams have turned
from yellow to deep pink. Love, it is so hot,
like a baby rabbit, curled in its first tiny hole.