At the empty windows set in the tall house where fear leaps up inside me bathed in such unkindly light my body’ a sack of bones, broken within
unfaithfulness no longer hurts in the lull before monsoon or typhoon but like bright light through the bare tree is a portmanteau of scream & babble or scrap
and here I am turning your trophies to scrap at an illicit viewing but you do not have to forget mourning and mirth are two extended wings teetering on walkways that disappear
I have given up all hope for what was whole the vacuous garment that limps at my heels as I go like a medieval painting’s kindling and with so much carrion in this graveyard for the sharp bones of my memory
to turn my teeth to knives made out of soot, soup out of rust and, we try to understand things, each in our own way as an alchemist knows how to win your
sixty trillion cells, all drunk with the live substance of a kiss polished and repolished by the hands of strangers
they are frozen when there is nobody on earth who hears nothing — you heard nothing.
[An A-Z through poetry. Sources in order of lines : Lot’s Wife, Anna Akhmatova/ A monologue of Prince Myshkin to the Ballet Pantomime of The Idiot, Ingeborg Bachman / The Fish, Billy Collins / His Picture, Elegie V, John Donne / No, never have I felt so tired, Sergei Esenin) / International Bridge Playing Women, Mark Ford / Vespers, Louise Glück / I’d played silence but later realised my word, Terence Hayes / Past caring, Mick Imlah / But you do not have to forget, Juan Ramón Jiménez /Lament 9, Jan Kochanowski / The Duckboards, Michael Longley / Migraine, Sinéad Morrisey / Whoever intends me harm, Pablo Neruda / The Haircut, Sharon Olds / A Musical Hell, Alejandra Pizarnik / ode to new money, Noel Quiñones / Daydreaming in the midst of spring labours, Aleksander Ristovic / The Silence of Plants, Wisława Szymborska / Wherever you are I can reach you, Marina Tsvetaeva / A drunkard, Ko Un / The Footsteps, Paul Valéry / The Divided Child, Derek Walcott / Empty Chairs, Liu Xia / A Father’s Ear, Yevgeny Yevtushenko / Siren and Signal, Louis Zukofsky]