i.m. my mother
‘…a huge mountain ’tween my heart and tongue…’
And so it is, having slain apparitions, she thinks she sees
that the moon is in now time.
She polishes the house with her gaze.
What she remembers, if she remembers,
is as clear as if she could be any age.
She nurses her knuckles with teeth,
vanishes underground again.
What she remembers is long before yesterday.
When she finally shows him, he touches his own lips
to taste her fear of this flooded black river,
here, and under her tongue.
The years are ripping through flesh.
He practises holding her face to get her to speak.
She tears through the door to stand out in the heavens.
What she remembers: she once took a boy’s tongue for a kiss.
Subatomic particles, sounding a law of bells.
Christ, say a word.
What she hears in the memory is advice to spend time in the garden.
Stars tilt back, as far as the grass.
What was it like, having pressed a hammer
to a corner of earth, and listened?
What she remembers, as clear as blood,
is those weather-red lips saying her name.
How she saw a drunk boy wild on the back of a horse,
rubbing the sky.
She blows into the hollow of palms,
thinks of the Ides of March.
Glass is whistling; the sound could nail down a corpse.
In her nightgown, she listens for her mama.
Ravens lurk under the stairs.
They ask her what she remembers:
floods, a dead mother, a month, she thinks, standing in the porch.
And so it will be, having slain apparitions with her eyes,
she will walk out to the sunrise, and it will be March.
While the sleepers
The muse in the field
is a pop-up book.
His bed is a tongue
of grass. I am who.
I will press my finger into
the bowl of my muse’s body,
place some of his dusty fire
over my eyelids.
While the sleepers idle
in their pyjamas, I’ll go door
to door with the sunrise;
one poem, one sunrise at a time.
He says our life depends on
saying the words.
He lets me know she’d chosen.
All this textual
complexity is too much for a newspaper’s
Korean woman found dead in direct provision centre.
The language is so left
of press for mum with fragments.
There must be wind, though I can’t hear it, because
the land caves
in afterlife and the leaves are blowing wildly.
I’m sealed in; the window’s shut.
I can’t get up to open it, because
something’s crushing me.
Each week, some fleeing scissors
and the feelings that make us up.
She was still, and no amount
of shaking by her boy would wake her.
The exceptional is always interred:
he had to go and find someone,
anyone, to help him,
though how do you say
there is only a flower urn
and my mother’s not moving
when you don’t speak the language?
And he’s hungry, because he hasn’t
eaten all day, and he can’t find his bear
and there’s rubbish thrown on the
open the attic window, see diamond light
float beyond the usual gravity,
the world’s debris is only feathered air
blue walls paling to oblivion
see? the new interior
whispers – whispers –
music shudders in your wake
and dreaming state
first steps are precious on any surface,
with each revolution of the planet –
so private, a life within a dream
while we’re waiting for a train
and we the mistress
of its internal country