We hollow out the attic; become a pair of sparrows
chasing a summer that pricks our tongues. Above, the
rain sells our secrets in whispers.
You move as though your ears can’t close.
Neat lines of cardboard meddahs spill tales from
folded tongues. Exposed to time again their children tremble –
our fingers reach out, but it’s under your nails they hide.
Touching what you touch.
When the sun has moved beyond our estimations,
we eat sandwiches from the supermarket;
something not offered by your parents –
that feels important today.
The final bag is scrapbooks. You speak of
grass harbours, where you’d run until
your stomach ached and the air grew quiet.
Then you grow quiet,
As if that, too, is being reassessed.
We are given the spare room, where the sheets already
carry an imprint. I listen to your breathing, how it sounds
like those boxes and bags are too full.
Above my head the wallpaper is peeling. My fingers
feel false as I push the years
back into place.
I can’t do it like you can.