Think of all the times you haven’t been thwarted by your teeth and tongue, your clavicle and ulnas, femurs and gut. Body says, This one’s on me. Brain says, What’s remembered lives; It’s alright not to get over loss. Light left Vega when you were born, it’s taken this long to arrive; a run begun in a great bright kite the ancients called a lyre. You are always the centre of the poem, even when you’re not. Just before imploding, a giant star releases a tone, we’re told, that’s close to middle C ~ Do stars relinquish sound? If they do, can we hear it? Beyond the poem are sirens, fire, sea careening the pier. Beyond the poem, a brother burned. It’s his exigency pushing the poem— through to the flume below. A hawk-and-swallow chorus rises— higher than a hope. A truck down-gears, a horn lets go. Sounds that keep us piqued; you loathe the racket. The whole wide world’s a narrow bridge, a concertina wire. The key is not to fear, to make it across—
have passed; we’ve left the desert. Fire-pillar guides by night, cover of cloud—those nebulous shepherds, by day. Food and drink provided despite our waywardness, especially mine. I begged to linger; loved the camel- coloured sand, the arid air. Forty—that pivotal biblical sum; we had to finish the course, I guess, then leave. Frigid winds are wringing here I’m quavering in my coat—the slider on the zipper stuck in the stop. You in your thermal socks and flannels can’t get warmth enough. My laptop keeps demanding my location. I must be a person of deep belief. Every morning I wake with the clock, to disembodied radio voices, you beside me energizing. Sun still pallid as ash. I’m certain it will quicken to its task. What need have we of fear— of slipping on our winter chinks of light.