Matthew Caley

Sleepwalking For Beginners

         Apparently -my light, my love- they part the drip-dry bayberry
to survey the scene : the panting alsation occupying
                   the pyramid-shaped shadow
                 growing from the corner of the house

                  that makes the big lawn mauve or even mauver.
They say we walk, nay, glide -my love, my light-
                   across the gravelled pathway through the elderberry or wolfberry
                                     or whatever - hackberry possibly-

                  where two griffins
sit white-knuckled in their plinths.
                   That a dozen or so lawn sprinklers throw their liquid
                                     heavily and reluctantly

                  as we essay out across their vast desmene.
Apparently, worried they can't contain us,
                   -our love, our light-
                                     their hirelings fix pedometers onto our heels

                  in order for them to ascertain
the unaccounted kilometres if sleep,
                   such is the breadth and swerve
                                     of our meanderings. Though we always come back,

                  at inexplicable hours, -
certain night-moths feeding at
                   the ink well of your clavicle, the gulp of my Adam's apple-
                                     for examination. Sometimes you say 'cicatrix'

                  and sometimes I say 'lubricious'
and other words from a sly and elusive lexicon
                   too difficult to tag. Apparently, all we remember
                                     -some light, some love- is coming awake to this:

                  the sting-stink of ammonia, the marrow-deep fault-line of our jaws,
that and the mutt returning,
                   its wet-nosed sniff of the real, Astroturf compressing crisply
                                     under its paws.

Printed by kind permission of both author and publisher


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