The fish we keep
who longs to escape and dreams of one day swimming the air
finding streams of wind and following you all the way to school
watches your tears (he cannot hear the sobbing) and wonders if
that is what he will have to drink when he finally learns
the secret of swimming through glass
you cannot sleep you cannot sleep and so I invite you up into this nighttime world where adults are and the cats are and the windows darkened as if for an occasion stars belt out their light and the moon a bitten cheese in the sky. We have the fire up and the yarn laid out where I am knotting it and knotting it into sleeves while you are meant to sleep the clothes are up and drying in the evening warm while your father talks about stories that are out of reach – magic and hollow mountains full of gold and chocolate eggs and promises that tomorrow the sun will rise on the world a little earlier and you will have dreamed out all along these washing lines of care these songs of humility and be a little older and a little further from the clouds.
They will ask you for your body
there is a time to hand it to them
let them clean it of all these mistakes its made with your blood
let them take it and minimise the pain.
And when that pain comes surf rush
and elemental yawn of intensity
will you remember the body of the cat
who stretched complete and sombre
in her love of fire warmth
on the floor
at the feet that were once yours?