whispering from the garden

gliding unctuous bodies like slabs

of margarine toward the open window.

They were after blood for the pearl

necklace my husband gave me,

the lustrous string around my throat,

moonlit and gleaming above the collar

of my shift, pale clavicles.

Snails and slugs crept in solidarity

fat-bellied across the windowsill,

left trails on the walls and over the headboard,

then fell on us with keen pink tongues.

They were young and angry about the ways

their bodies had been used,

but you had to admire their economy;

the way their hearts circulate, reproduce,

expel it all. We had taken something

belonged submerged.