Spaghetti carpets the floor, to cream
Shoe-soles, terracotta tiles.
You are crouched, colander in hand,
Doubled over hooting at the camera
On Marylyn, Caroline, Rosaline road
Strung out past the capital
String out along every sun-pinched evening
Where some invisible twisting knot drags them
Inch by inch closer from
the city stamped on their brains.
They long for bottled milk so warm you
could taste it, the smell of animal shit.
Animals to hatch and grow and feed
and eat. For the types of birds
you’d actually want to build a box for.
This house is shrinking with age.
The ewe is curled over, flies at her belly.
The hedgerow mutes her bleats
And tents her from the road.
Essex is too flat. I’m dying for
Something flatter. On Holkham beach
the sky is so big that even a head
Full of eyes couldn’t take it in.
We will bring the dogs and tea.
We will talk about stopping for fish and chips
On the way home, then decide we should get back.
On Greed and Love
A tell-tale sign of love
Is wishing that you’d thought of it first-
But being glad that they said it, not you.
So when you told me
That the word ‘avarice’ was lexically greedy-
Crunching on consonants, snacking on syllables-
Suddenly every other word took on a new meaning
And all the letters of the world
Seemed to be telling me just one thing.
your overstretched umbilical
gave out onto days beyond yesterday’s existence
Light through the eye
a fuse in the mind
The sight of a child
At the wake of those fires
cinders will bloom
dust erratic as irrelevance
You will come to stare
onto this mirror, fading
glassy and photographic
as it dims
Try to pin
those eyes onto these.
Find again that same axis
from which your form rotated
You will bend, heart to knee
to stare at these feet which
have walked over screws
and shavings of glass
Laced with scars
they will bring you to
in this place
and the shadow which cloaked
that child in the captured light
will seep into your self.
in time, you shall sleep
at home in your skin.
The Sailor’s Promise
We watched them sail to sea a week ago.
Since then our lives are back to normal.
The men of Delos left us empty houses,
us women on the beach in a huddle,
listening hard until the final echo
fights against the rocks and loses.
We watched them sail to sea a month ago
and felt the length of nights increase.
Dreams don’t come easily, but when they do
it’s always the same cold place.
I took my questions up the mountain to Brizo,
who told me to wait until tomorrow.
We watched them sail to sea a year ago
and now I’m the only one left,
the only one who comes back to the beach.
I come with a little boat of gifts
to send to the water beneath the moon’s glow.
The candle drifts slowly out of reach,
hits a wave and goes out. I rinse
my hands and go back to the altar.
They sailed to sea a long time ago.
With no hope of breaking the silence
we ready ourselves for a long winter.
I wake up slowly and look out of the window.