Skin is woman. Light is hard
and keen on her back
as she lowers to undress.

Or does she dress naked?
Unfold her many
doubted selves

under the blaze of the moon.
Naked that is night. Two hands
withdraw from the pulsing lamp

that could circle the room,
like a watch, like time,
coined into the river of her back.

She will never be old. Every move
to undress
is to dress again, openly

and by the gaze of the world:
a wing, and then an eye
a window into the night.

She will never be old.
The still and calm
interior of her self – as you might see –

is heavenly and dark.
Reaching naked through the glass
a kind of light.

First published in ENVOI magazine, 2017.
From Unable Mother, V. Press (2018)

More poems from this  publication: ‘Dawn’


Lamp in paperfields
and in the sky, a compression of long halls.

Do you know how sudden you are
how sad? Sadness being air
or soft fly of a thing
over dark houses.

The sad dying voice of the bird
is my dying voice

We are the poem – Look
our heads, tongues
drag with the old clock.

This is how it has to be.
The shadows dancing on the eaves
know our trick

of being one thing

when you lower the lamp
of your voice
my mouth rises to its light,
I dilate under your finger-tones,

if you fall the moon will step down
and hold you close

‘Bird’ – first published by IS&T. Shortlisted for Poem of the Year, Ink Sweat and Tears, 2016.