Earlier this year I received the news that an old friend of mine had passed away. He’d gone at New Years—unable to bear, I guess, the symbolic turn into yet another year, yet another cycle. I spent two months not feeling this, keeping it tight under my skin; not realising how the grief was itching at me.
Dead leaves are liquid; wring them / drown Wessex in brackish milk. / The cottage is still like a mosquito in amber / sheltering dinosaur blood. Yes he was / born here, Dorset let him never get / over it.
I tried / to settle into space without being in the way. With my back to history / the poetry came in through my right ear. When I smiled I smiled / to the right.
Oh my God! Did we pass / through a space-time rift or cross an Einstein- / Rosen bridge? How long have we been stuck / here? Am I even the same person who arrived?
My feet hurt then / in a new way / but I felt it sharply from the ground up / in everything that dropped down / from the trees onto the dead.
They sit together in school. They ride their bikes towards the hills and watch them smoulder. The Stepfather cooks boiled eggs for breakfast and Velvet sticks them in her pocket to feed to the birds.
How can water be so clear. She reaches down to feel it and the cold is so shocking it is almost sexual. Drinking water after chewing gum so it aches
Once I read in a girl’s magazine that all women should familiarise themselves with their vulvas, for situations exactly like this. I never did. If anyone else did, no one talked about it.