Yellowing aerogramme passed from hand
to hand, creases striped with naphthalene dust,
salt-tang over sleepy villages— here’s
the broken line of hills, the sweep of coast
caught in a curl of cursive, shadowed
cul-de-sac of consonants bent at elbow
and knee. I’ll never know again the knotted
lace of curtains behind which we as children hid,
convinced the sounds behind the heavy doors
were the dead coming to claim our souls.
Here in a sunlit house not my own, I polish
the furniture and floor with oils smelling of fruit
until the heart of the wood is glossy
as an oriole’s song, and the rooms
where you come to me again
are a palace of leaves. Summer light,
thick as honey, pooling in squares at our feet:
we ask to be touched, before being taken.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.