The Front Man Moves In

For him it was a career move, for her a shiny
new crucifix, something to believe in,
someone to love and eventually,
someone to hate. The trouble was he arrived

there first although she refused to read
the clues he was a front man and a front man
never leaves and a front man always stays
in that secret world and that secret world is

an open secret of what will occur. She'll be
asleep and he will be watching as the moon falls
into the maiden hair fern, as the darkness comforts,
as the darkness is a shroud. Nothing

will happen but the magic of the slightest
movement, a chair, her book open to a different page.
The windows will open, the lights turn on the
times she is out and no one will harm her.

She is safe, protected unless he gives the word
and the word will be silent and the word will be
bound and gagged, tied to a tree, the rich red soil
as moist as a bruise on a bruise. The noise

is the wind howling, then the quietest cry
through a body unrecognisable dead or alive
and she can sleep any time she likes,
pretend she didn't hear the front man who watches

because he always will as he carefully leaves
messages to remind her of everything she's done,
everywhere she's been and she sleeps with
the lights on and she sleeps fully clothed. She's not

really sleeping watching the maiden hair fern,
the fronds uncurl and dead bark breaks like a raw
new song the day she decides to talk and maybe
die. Nothing happens. He always did lie.