No distance, The reading & Triptych
by Matt Bryden
[ poetry - december 10 ]
My lungs, two purses of stones
sealed tightly with string.
My students' eyes, freshly cut hair
I can't meet. The water's
reflection is too shallow, I want
to submerge myself in deeps.
The light glances
off water the depth of a child's steps.
The scent of a stable,
that cropped straw.
We took the pregnancy test together - I mean,
you sat on the can, I was on the hallway steps.
A silver clock tocked out 30 minutes.
Did you want it to be positive? you asked.
one hand to a jar of bees
- our compass arm.
When you cut my fall by twenty metres,
your crooked elbow just there
as I passed your lookout that sky-blue day,
the thawing snow exploding in a crystal dust
as it slipped from the boughs
we formed a dance, linked as sycamore seeds,
our eyes alternately meeting the light
and blinking at the snow that lies
and has lied for the previous three weeks.
Every pressure smelted
in the crucible of our closed door -
your room a wing off the quotidian
visited by maids and messengers
visible in their leaving and arriving.
As they skate away on thin wheels,
the balcony rises till I can scarcely
make out their backs - your lookout now below me
where, aware I was falling, you took me aback.
It aged me to find you in a meadow,
upstanding, staring over another burnt bridge
despite the coils of smoke, the spattered
riding your trouser-cuffs, your frantic soaked shoes,
your cheeks washed of colour.