What if the dangerous thing actually happens
and you’re elsewhere, looking away – at a hare
on the grass in the grounds of the offices.
You’re twirling the phone cord and listening,
bored, to an adviser advise you on what’s wrong
with the mortgage application that shouldn’t be wrong
because you should know that the Homeowner 3
is the wrong form for the wrong customer,
and he’s tired of doing your job for you.
And the hare is as still as an eye.
And the hare begins to flicker
like a screen running out of power
and the hare against the grass becomes flat
as a moment, like any terror
you can fall through – into the past.
The cormorant inside my head
peers at the one in my heart.
It shakes its beak,
gestures with its wings
that it’s time to open, to fly.
The cormorant inside my heart
calls back: Run, but a cormorant
can’t run. Hide, it calls,
but such a bird can’t hide.
Fight. It flexes its wings wide.
‘our bodies are cellular mongrels,
teeming with cells from our mothers…
grandparents and siblings.’
New Scientist, Nov 2003
Somewhere in me, my grandmother
longs for rebirth as a girl.
Somewhere in me, my grandfather
craves a chance to be heard.
Somewhere in me, my mother asks
fundamental questions about my life.
Somewhere in me, my divorced father
is unwillingly reunited with his wife.
Somewhere in me, my brother and sister
play as one in the stream of my blood.
Somewhere in me, my unborn twin
hungers for more than his share of food.
Somewhere in me, I find myself less
of a house, more of a neighbourhood.
The universe is running away with itself
like a child on a red bike on Christmas Day.
Somewhere the wrapping is still being opened.
The present gives itself again and again.
And the child hurtles at perfect speed
across town towards nothing.
Her parents are already
looking at the clock, saying
how late it is getting, how the darkness
comes so much sooner.
It is only a matter of time,
they are saying,
before she will land,
awkwardly, in an original position,
sucking in broken concrete
the child on a red bike
is running away with herself
like the universe on Christmas Day.