Strawberries sitting on hillsides, it is
just after a train crash and
all is silent when they meet
a phone rings but he does not pick it up.
She de-ices winter also, claims
nothing but that it does not matter if
to him The Milky Way leads nowhere
and bells sound mornings in.
Heaps are growing on ground, again,
and somewhere mid-air
silvery shades dance as she puts his hands
to span her stretched navel.
All the distances he ever walked join
one another and two-quarters
of a circle further down he takes
pictures of a scream, emerging skull.
Suns still set and toilets still flushed
as she made waves, again and again,
squeezing sand through an hourglass
the mother became.
It had nothing to do with them then;
Crashes and Quakes and Faint
suggestions in creamy bathroom mirrors
he never mentioned, and she
never told him about pebbles
screaming to her from beaches,
curling up between them in bed.
Now growing a stubble he leaves for days.
And she sits around in a big gown
listening … as the paperboy makes his round.
It might have got something to do with
the circles in which we stand, helpless.
The last breath of a child, the two
of them there, left behind.
He closes his dental practice.
She goes back on the pill.
He misses the pain he causes
more than the teeth to fill.
She wishes there was something
else than time to kill.
She puts her hand to the radiator
but it is always cold.
She tries to call him
who does not answer
ignoring her breath
like the ice ferns.
In her dreams he is a stone.
She stays inside, fills a thermos
to see her through the winter
watches millions of flakes fall
yet fail to cover ground.
His hibernation is in skin
that razors can not touch.
Trembling under cherry trees
his memories refined.
She used to pose to make turbans turn
and flip flop across any market
in no time to embrace him in words
about mangoes, cardamom and
wherever next to go.
Autumn leaves fall again, paint vivid
premonitions, touch faces as they pass
not picking up on such simple clues
with disarranged hair, dishpan hands.
His bike is in the shed.
All needed is some air.
She is still, there.
Only the cupboards are talking
helped by a perfect Johnny Walker
to her head against the table.
His head turns at the traffic lights
where a woman in a pink over-coat
crosses the street, slowly
before through the cold she floats.
He is frozen, feeling sick,
and starts to melt
then and there
In another part of town
white sheets wave the winds
to move on by.
They are nearly there
(time is a ring, an oval)
Two ice-cubes sliding down
the slow unlearning-curve of life.
In the midst of it all
she is shaken
fumbling through the debris
looking up, on her floor
stands not the paperboy.
He takes her hand and leads her
(with thermos and two cups and saucers)
up steep narrow stairs.
Outside, lifting his chin to the air
he throws the question out –
Where does heaven begin?
But is already there.
The sound of dainty china
She says I am only starting to fathom
then lets out a laughter to share.
A child is walking now, slowly,
along a beach, zigzag
between stones that are orange
then throws one in the air.