Last night I thought of you, I couldn’t sleep -
the bedclothes were too warm, too soft, their perfume
felt like the long-ago, orange-curtained room
where you’d sat with the sunlight on your sleeve.
The hoarding outside blinked into the night
some wire loose, some pattern of disconnect
patchy skin of an anecdote, near perfect
in recall, but I know that I’m being naïve.
Nothing much has changed meanwhile, there are three
black and white photos still on the bookcase
the walls kaleidoscope into your face
and grief does not leave any marks on these.
Peace is a hollow sound, darkness is an ear
twisted in the pillow. And insomnia.
I think of you during the day as wellyour hands behind my eyes a push button
umbrella, their arcs of fluorescence open,
your voice a softly blooming magic spell
on a fractured day morphing to a lullaby
for a drop of time, neither blink nor aeon,
a swirl of seconds? years? before it’s gone
and I straighten up whatever went awry
turn back again, deep dive into the phone –
respond to an email, write a paragraph,
read the news, look up the tally, adjust
my nerves, try a new pink smile - mostly half
hearted. Grief’s the shape of my collarbone
and wrist, milliseconds marooned in the past.