Forward Poems

Altar Call

The first time the man left her he walked down the aisle,
his face blank with hopelessness or with hope.

Bridled Vows

I will be faithful to you, I do vow,
but not until the seas have all run dry
et cetera.

From ‘Salt’

He cleared snow from the path and laid down salt.
He was conscious of oxygen, then: the word, also the way
his breath came back at him as mist

i am very precious

I see all the black marks on the page, the lines
hallucinations falling off the edge of the world – my tongue
we haven’t talked about desperation,

Slowed-Down Blackbird

Three people in the snow
getting rid of themselves
breath by breath

Undress

There is an ash tree behind this house. You
can see it from our bedroom window.
If you stare at it for long enough, you’ll see

Upstairs

Lying on the bed with my mother,
Wearing my father’s Alpaca overcoat.
Here, Upstairs, where the air is old