by Kate Holford
We began by forming opposites. Harboured up against the sofa
T-shirts and leggings and absence of everyone else for days
We began asking. No line laid out
Saying this is like the universe, in exponentially rapid expansion, and so too big for
us to think of all at once we just kept asking
(“Will I ever see the blue whale?”)
(“Where do the angels live?”)
We revealed one, and then another, sentence then
Believed them. This was not storytelling
We asked, don’t tell me lies
We discoloured, precipitants fogging windows
Unknown behind curtains, light unchanging
(“Are beliefs in our brains?”)
Yes, you say— there something lay
A lachrymose border regarded, only hours before, as a suggestion
As some kind of future
(Though then, music had played from the kitchen
As it can, for days
From across a distance of stairs, and days,
And carpets, and through forgotten hinged doors
And yet nothing could be said of it. We ran aground instead
Requited islands, the watery line finally gorging the land–
A body of unwordedness, word-lessness
Necessarily undermining me
(And then you)
All things being thus equal
I spoke; legs and arms tucked against sofa, knotted
Clothing in black not far from silhouette, light never fading—
My Island. My island has the best beaches for oceans around.
Limbs of sand stretch through water, slide lazily to the bed and halt, disdainfully,
Before touching that reciprocal ground
(“Are we floating towards something?”)
Silt slides, lifts and lofts, lolling away again to rest, abridged.
You said, teasing out digits from a cat’s cradle of joints and sleeves knotting
The momentary declaration:
If Someone says they hate it they’ve read the wrong extracts
And I felt there was Someone, somewhere, starting
Quietly and rightly, through
Cared-for teeth, red-filled warm lips.
I’m talking eyes closed,
Breeze rising to the smoke,
A ring of silhouetted ocean-rivers separating
Futures into islands, and stone, and melodies
Drifting from another existence, another room.
Blindly delivered sentences linger
Beneath our mirrored waves.
They are the final thing I give to you before sleeping, ears resting
Between feathered cushions and dreams of stars
And travelling, exponentially, away.
Remember when you trusted me.
Remember when I took nothing back.
Remember when we swam through it all,
Eyes open —
(“Are we breaking?”)
You do not hear me; you too, are sleeping