Yes, I know, I said we didn’t need one,
but later I was glad to pack it
with plates and bottles, and know
how hot it got. There was already enough
with a baby in the house.
Still, I was sorry to let go
the excuse to stare out at
clouds and weightless birds. And I missed
how warm my cold hands were.
Once I wasn’t speaking to someone,
two people actually, and as I washed
tears fell right into the suds.
We had no window then,
just a cupboard with cups
and a light above the sink.
This way goes a different way,
beautiful from above, past
a factory and windows
and now sheep and now mud.
Who am I, geese, wittily concealed?
Who am I, gulls, your salt sea revealed,
after water and grass
and stubble and mud?
Amid the vast network of tracks and trains
one puts his body in and
it matters a lot whether he
puts it in or in front of the
train. We who ride know
the difference, but he who
has stalled and rerouted us
is blank, extinguished,
a smoke without a flame
I’ve lost all my sparkly bits.
I’ve no wool for the winter.
Look at me, sleek and black,
sexy but cold.
I went spiralling down into my friend’s surgery,
into the needle they stuck in his back.
Heard them say, Don’t move.
Felt the hard force of it.
Went with his eyes to the lights later.
You should see him on the courts,
the balls he hits.
In doubles you’d make sure
he was on your side.
My salt dashed has not kept you, bird,
though my mother said it would.
You’ve left the fence, you’re ochre now,
and the boy, bereft, is wonder-whyed