The six techniques of highly ineffective mouse traps

New day has a fabric rip
The pyrethrum scent of last night’s neglected pans
Basmati and burnt metal
Slept with the sun inside
Woke weakly flailing
In your bite, a hard, machinic smile
A ridge against my wrist like sunrise
Broke a mouse’s neck
A small, uncoiled scream
Dragged up the hinge
The bared teeth, gladiatorial in glory
The tongue an ugly twist
Imagining a thousand crucifixions 
Along the Appian way
These brief lives another paltry annoyance
Marking the dwindling distance
Between failure and victory 

This house on fire

The library makes the small mouse noises
Of a patient after defibrillation

I have eaten my way through several volumes
Of the intimate correspondence 
Of poets and kings

Learning (almost) nothing

Except the peculiar bombast and reserve
Turned in that intimate, sinister way
To bemusing incriminations
Of those who know their private thoughts
After death will be widely dissected

A particularly servile aggrandisement
(The fireplace alive with sparks)
To providence and
The self-important moment

Knowing (almost) nothing
I gnaw on

While grandiloquent lives become
The substitute for everyday dissection
Limbs splayed and pinned
Entrails and misdemeanours 
Humbly and shamefacedly arranged

The map (almost) illegible 

With that turned half away
Scalpel bright
But strangely grief-struck grin