it’s not so much the double push
one then again straight away
and noticing how it flips and floes
when i feel i am made of nothing
but blood reminds its home is here
up and back around renewed
so many tunnels to travel
so much dark time
and noticing you are not me and
i am not more of nothing
there is a way a hand or voice can change
that squeeze of sinew filling veins
of time with blood and you
the pacing heart moving across that space
on the way to slow forgetting
how to move that red that is not red in the dark interior
its not so much you as the second beat
the heap and heap of you
that presses my whole still life and moves it
sinew flicking through time
up and back, renewed.
The air is tangled
all around her
filaments in and out
of these breaths I count
the snug of her
against my side
warm that’s mine
but now her’s.
How can I know her
and not – ?
those days she spent
gathering herself from me
in and out with the
up and down of the two hearts
chaffing life up.
As if this face has always
been with me
and is more my own
than the mirror or window’s
bright fleck of person.
But only this short time
the sleep of her
As the sky leaks
so will you
a minute apocalypse
once seemed to be yours then falls
and you find yourself outside yourself
exacting callous flow
from time to time.
He cannot change this
that leached your bones’ own filaments
the fine lines of marrow
from the sun or some explosion
in the sky
where all this seems to start
You see yourself
as structured from surroundings
wear the sky from claw to beak
themselves a drop of yolk
sunset pinched to yellow
the salt blue of that fellow
how the clotted bloodstream
twisted up with iron and elements
whose very names – nitrogen oxygen hydrogen –
are foreign outsiders marching
on time’s own order
not soldiers of the self
that pulled me from you and then on again
file after file
in a library of clouds.
Some days you are the sky’s
that speaks up and is surrendered to
blood cord taught
that ends all ends
and will conclude…
I would take all your injuries
and put them on my body.
The swell of blood up and out
would be my own.
The way it falls tearing out of you
to swallow in me and become
that magic river of pain and painless
that granted thing that once spilled
congeals and stains a dangerous red.
When you were born your whole skin held you
so complete yourself so fine and finished
the skin of your heel that spread to shape your eye.
I, breathless with wonder at what had fallen out of me ,
found falling the clasping point; the broken thing was me.
Made of blood and so brimming with it
that I could weep and weep and not lose you,
and you go and damage yourself against
this ramshackle world never to lose me.
The time filled day
plasters itself all over the body;
wears it like paper
frayed where it has torn.
There is the sweep of it
like the wind with its overing
and the broom with its hush hush hush
along the floor’s crevices.
Tidal with the moon and never
whiter than when it is
with its whiff of blanket fold
and the curve of it downwards.
It has loomed the blood
felted it with the gentle incessant rub rub
and now so fine thin
rice paper smooth; fragile.
Milked and trembling
the paper sky filaments
are all ready to rest;
When I was a child
it was always autumn;
with the rain and fungus
the fruit and promise
the leaf-mould and running gutters
where fat worms wandered
through the clear as light water.
Once there was a frog,
grey and spangled at the thigh
exact yellow, exact black.
It would rain and I would wait
in the car and try to count
the droplets forming on the window
as they ran together like so many memories.
The cold would come and stalk
the stars at night
and in the morning we’d fog our laughing breath
and laugh at its whiteness
and how it came while we weren’t trying.
Exact fog white, the crispest kind.
In the afternoons we’d forget our woollen jumpers in the leaves
and traipse around at dusk
looking for that yellow cuff
in the places our games had travelled us.
We’d fill the green bucket with apples and
spend the afternoon cutting our woody
to make jelly,
fingers were slit
and the blood was exact.
This morning’s wash is full of
the iron tang scent of it
all the fabric whiteners
can’t soften it from the clothes.
I hope the sunlight will set it right
but if they say you stink at school
tell them it was you mother bleeding through the night,
tell them you are made from it.