• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 06


We are uncommonly outside of the house
yet most definitely inside the house,
the phone wire curls away like so—
like a stone curlew adrift on the sky.

You are lined up on the waiting phone,
there is music to be had but not chirrups or tweets,
and that so-reasonable voice keeps breaking through
the free-roaming smudge of your thoughts.

Outside of this is a street lined with parked cars,
the day weighs heavy as a winter duvet on a summer night.
Getting through this with our treacle-coated feet is the aim,
you say, as you hand me the phone and head upstairs.

After ten minutes I long to smash something,
even the pigeon hooting down the chimney
seems to be sending a coded message—
I am free while you are shut in.

There is nothing that exists outside of
this lime green telephone receiver.
My heart is a basin of pudding today
its rim encrusted with burnt sugar.

I fall asleep and dream the word nefarious
spelt out in fairy lights on a fluff of cloud,
I dream of an empty road, no parked cars,
I wake to a woman’s voice asking me something.