Front Door

In through the translucent panels of the front door stained with roses
here and there their green stems wander sun patterns the cavernous hall
with rose outlines the wood paneled box came sharp-cornered the TV
so heavy to look at it cut into my clavicle was it
full of cannonballs and was it carried on four or six or eight
sets of shoulders into the room such impossible heaviness
for the size of it and was it full of tinctures puzzled colours
picture elements their sweep rates flashing across it when I saw
my reflection in the blackness of its face it was a child’s face.
Neighbours came over their fences a summer day but dark with storms:
a deluge impassible roads the forest lurching on the hill.
I felt my head turn into stone no it wasn’t the old TV
we carried her to the window the meteors that time of year
Perseids only sparks really the Irish Sea fell from the sky
in bullets through the afternoon and Kong Kappa no King Koopa
navigates his ship through the storm an engine or thunder rumbles.
Electrons pooled under the clouds the room was heavy with ions.
I held my breath in the lightning the sea fell into the garden.
Evening rose like the river then the flash with all of us in it
and her voice moves around the edge of the world and now I think I
remember what I mean to say which is only to say that once
when all the world and love was young I saw it beautiful glowing
once in the corner of the room once I was sitting in its light.

From If All the World and Love Were Young. Reproduced with kind permission of Penguin Books.

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