the night deadens, the hands curl and the chest seeks warmth
the eyelash weakens against the thralls of sleep, the inching at the neck
strung tight by the shoulderblades struggling to give in to fatigue, the cold
of the air, the scratching at the stoop’s foot, there is red
on the mouths, fires in the bodies and restlessness in the fingers rolling up the thighs
stalling the knees
the snails twining in the tongue’s gnarled branches.