i.m. E.V.A Cowell Some say grief is a lookout-tower, a swinging cage rigged beside the heart, battering a plume of sail. Some find an anchor, slipping its noose and on the sand, unloosed – a canary, a little sun rising up.
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,
And I tended that light
And he was the light
I thought that nothing ever happened to me.
To other people, yes, but not to me.
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
Lying on the bed with my mother,
Wearing my father’s Alpaca overcoat.
Here, Upstairs, where the air is old
The forever shoe, which points homewards, belongs to my mother. When our house was being built, she stepped onto the driveway while the tarmac was still wet
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
‘Don’t go without this.’ Isabel handed me a small white box
which held a candlestick and four attendant angels.
I will be faithful to you, I do vow,
but not until the seas have all run dry
The first time the man left her he walked down the aisle,
his face blank with hopelessness or with hope.
Everywhere we went, I went
It took two looks to see him,
head whipped and jaw loosed, silent
Three people in the snow
getting rid of themselves
breath by breath
The one you have finished examining
is my son. That is the milky coloured Kurdish
suit his father tailored for him
Still looking for lost people – look unrelentingly.
‘They died’ is not an utterance in the syntax of life