It isn’t a gull I need to hear

this time of night.

It isn’t the scissoring

of crisp air into shreds

of sound.


What I need is rock

under my feet,

the careful calculation

of one step after another,

the threat of a twisted ankle

keeping me steady, steady,

the catch in my chest

reminding me

of the bird in my throat

refusing to be swallowed

or spit out whole.


One more stair

and I will be there.


Framing blue the white gull’s shriek,

this window is carved in stone.

I cannot slam it shut.


From Absent Muses


One comment

  1. […] inhabit people like a secret amour. When I returned from that first journey away I was sleepless. ‘Nocturne’, I wrote. I mourned place, person, animal, thing. The sounds of the port recede. There is nothing […]

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