There we are
in a big aeroplane
with its lounge, its silently
snapping fire and cut glass.
In a dream my sister died
and I delayed grief, offering it to others
first. It was politeness
and eventually I turned see-through.
The next day I spoke to her
on a screen. She’d been crying.
The screen remained solid
looking like water.
When you lose something in a dream
it falls to the bottom, swiftly rattled
but you never think of going back—
to beat through acres of mid-air
walking the distance.
We sense that soon
the aeroplane will land,
and go about swapping seats.
But the plane’s really more like a boat
which rather than landing
will only continue to buff and displace molecules.
There are screams and some confusion as it banks and banks.
In a riverbed I lay
three nights of clawed cobalt
and on the fourth, a sand-blank expanse
filled up behind my eyes.
A line of prints padding away round the dry bend.
The dream doesn’t narrow into a tube;
it shreds down like a child’s fingernail
like an elderly pencil, it reverts
you turn it upside down
to begin again (barely the phantom of a pause).
You can’t find your seat
so you crouch along
the forest of rows:
it’s not lost it’s
right at the back
of the forest, which has gone
dim and tonal.
The plane floats on,
a day above the night.
for Michael Farrell
A bat drops on the stove, awakes
no one. Clutching its belly.
Then they’re coming to the door, saying
Take the tools, throw a horseshoe in.
Throwing a horseshoe in. Irish silver,
imperial leather, whatever. It all smells
like folded skin.
Burrows in the bricks—
they hack a wall through
to the garden, straighten
into stars. A fringe
of purple lawn, spraying teeth.
* * *
She rushed toward
beating away through the mulberry.
Her eye seemed to fall into place
as the acid crossed her face in confusion.
When morning knocked
she hid under the table,
never good with perspective.
Ferry lines trebled through the background;
she watched mould forest
in canvas undergrowth.
Wearing the rug to death.
On the ledge a conch, some pins
imposing. In the window a handful of spears
stuck in flight—trails carved hard toward earth.
She stood; and they accelerated.
She wrote off, ink
sliding back into the pen.
She wrote off
tearing the envelope with her teeth.