First winter in Iceland
Some mornings we’re woken by the sound
of our neighbour sneezing. I raise the blinds
and drink the night-dulled water. Half a pizza
is sleeping in an open box in the carpark,
topped with shimmering slices of rain.
The name sprayed on the wall of the bakery
is my stepdad’s, but it seems so unlike him
to assemble his ashes back into a body
and be ready to start over. A map in the window
explains they are moving to a red circle
containing a bakery from the future.
The rim of this glass tastes of both our mouths.
In the shower I sing guitar solos, and sometimes
you come in to brush your teeth, and I feel
love. A woman is brushing her teeth and
is my wife, I think. Because sometimes it is hard
to say out loud the thing you absolutely feel.
Then two ambulances pass each other
heading opposite ways, and the morning is lost.
With our bodies and our promises
You were in the bath, give or take.
Singing, ‘a single sip of coffee
and my whole voicebox goes up in flames’
to the tune of Silent Night.
Outside, as it were:
amazingly real-sounding rain.
A drizzle so regular
you could picture the shapes of the things
it was falling on.
One thousand years passed.
O boy, those fingertips.
When you brought them together
they made a little whoosh
like sealing tupperware
or what I thought it must be like
to open an airlock on a space station.
‘Welcome home, stranger,’ we sang,
to the tune of ‘welcome home,
stranger, we sang.’
how yellow feels
between your fingertips.
Like a hard rain drop, or a soft
star. Like a stone with its moss on
the inside. Throbbing, silent, actual.
If thoughts are the eroticization of
consciousness, then lemons are the
eroticization of sunlight. Their
pips scour the dark