We counted your minutes down
and your neck flickered light from that throat
to the beat of a clock. I sat, nursing my distress,
waiting, spinning out your tight-wound tale,
against a final word already fully formed.
You lost time, our frail childhoods dandling
in your spindling arms, as I watched that window fade,
starless against hope as the evening purpled out.
In the garden, cleaned sheets fly forgetful of your shape,
unrolled and dancing their surrender as snowdrops
break open freckled hearts. The room
quietly empties itself of your smell as the awkward clock
grows useful and rewound: forget with the hours,
forget with the minutes, remember the seconds, forget.
[Previously published on the Picador website]
iv. Dandelion clocks
A brief cleanness is blown
from their knowing, nodding heads;
tiny autumns in the cobalt chill
of mid-May air. Something too late
in our coming saw their thin stalks greening
to windblown clusters.
Something abandoned too quick
to sunshine air
to be muddied in imagined futures.
They have grown white-haired,
as you never could, and
long since left
on a warm
[Previously published by Fourteen Magazine]