She said she had to go and so she left, and what am I to do
when my wife loves the moon? When she walks in the garden
footprints in the grass spring up in her wake,
when she cries it only wets the plants that keep her
She stood beside the bed, the window open wide
and pressed her face to the wind like glass to a cutting wheel.
Love, tell me how to stop a woman with her arms already out
what string can I buy to keep her still and tethered to my
I know I shouldn’t ask the moon to keep us safe.
I watched her close the door behind her and I asked
that the way ahead be easy as the rose grows in our beds,
and the way to me be marked out by a thread spun out of stars.
The sheet is white as summer laundry and crinkles
when I climb up on the bed, bow-legged and naked
from the waist down. I want to smooth it out like a
at Christmas, press the ripples into submission with the
of my hands, tame them. I am not a good hostess.
My elbows are sharp at my sides, I don’t know how to
maybe I never have, my knees, my eyes, my voice, my belly.
She splays my legs, I press them close and she splays them
and when she touches me, I feel it across the webbing
of my body, a thousand thousand gloved fingers
pushing into me from all angles. Nothing
grows in my belly, though I am made for it.
You could plant potatoes in my fingernails
and they would grow, tendrils tethered on my arms.
You could feed me apples and watch the tree
burst from my stomach, bloodied branches gathered
over me. Any chance you’re pregnant? she says.
I tell her no and beg my body to believe me.
Light spools like thread/she said heaven is empty and all
the light is here/I said heaven never existed in the first
place/she held my hand all the same/my hands are seethrough in the day/pink on white/rivers of gold run over
my bones/smoothing/wearing my knuckles to dice/roll my
bones across her table top/the wood is the colour of the noise
bees make and it has splinters/she has splinters/she is good
at sharing her splinters/the light fractures and we pick it up
between our fingers/spillikins/do not touch one another/do
not let the light leach from my skin to hers/she smells like
sulphur/she has a boyfriend/smells of suncream when my
curtains are open/I can see the smears on the glass/I can see
her on the street/open wide/ I would let her swallow me if
she wanted to/the sky cries copper and she eats it up
It is deep enough that when we drop the stone
it takes thirty-two seconds to hit the bottom
and echo its findings back up to us. The old station
is flooded, the pumps rusted into place,
the hole where the witch lives smells like mulch.
The witch can’t speak. You put on a voice for her,
run bark over your throat so your voice comes out old
as the forest, you place a curse on us like the curse
on this place, wish us drowned and floating,
and when you laugh the hole laughs too.
Later, when you’re called home for potatoes
and warmth and bathtime, I take off my shoes,
feel the damp ooze into my skin. Climb
back into the darkness, splash-land in the deep,
curl up in my corner and wait for your return.
The Sun Rises
A Sixteenth Time
Light again on the hard, round brink of Earth,
brims a white blue line, a star in an upset teacup,
the sun rises for the last time today.
We float in our station, in our white suits,
watch the planet far below, or above, as light spills
over our mountains and oceans.
Cuts lines through black with wicked sharp
fabric scissors, lets the gold run through.
Space is mended sheets in our hands,
pulled taut on a washing line, we can only watch
as the gaps are pulled apart, and the white heart
rises above the earth, white as old stories
passed down from lips to ear,
white as small lies like hanging teeth,
white as a belly before fingers lay lines
of red down. There is no air here to blur
the edges, there are no words and whispers to change
the story, there is only one more dawn.