• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 07

Ocean Song

There was sound coming from the staircase,
not the one that goes upstairs
the other one.

The TV was on in the waiting room
when I was young and
My grandfather was ending and you spoke
stories of misted woods in lyre suites
in cloudy robes and river songs
in details that you could only know
if you had been there,
the TV was on.

Age made me understand the things you did for me,
always with the TV on in the background,
and something monumental remaining unspoken.

You made me a hoodie, because you had to.
You crossed the crucifix in the morning
because you were running out of ideas.
You didn't cook for me, you danced
through the inexplicable
while rain fell on the blue buckets.
You breathed the cosmic into
a frying pan
the walk to school
the first time in hospital
the woodlands
the streets
the other times in hospital.


Ocean Song

You once charged into the Butchers
me working in red, stained apron
and told them that minimum wage
was unforgivable,
as if you hadn't been doing it for 30 years.
I took off my apron and we had
breakfast and coffee and
we sang river songs
while someone's TV was blaring.

When it came to it,
the sun set awkwardly,
shakily through orange to
the coming night.
When it came to it,
you shuddered, shaking
into an untampered dark
and resurfacing just in time
to watch TV with me sat next to the bed
until visiting hours were over.

We had whisky, and we sang
like rain on blue metal
and harriers over marshland
bold in silver threads
of moonlight chasing gloom
until the nurses caught us.


Ocean Song

You imbued me with old words
of myths that vibrated
like the sound of empty forests
and sun rises over city towers
and sounds of the staircase,
not the one that goes upstairs,
but the one where a dragon waits
to claim the oceans we craft
carefully, over and over
with memories of quiet agony.
The dragon yawns, swallows the ocean
so I'm left with rain on metal
and the rest of the bottle
and someone winning the jackpot on TV.

You taught me the inexplicable
but I still can't fathom how
the last gasp you gave was so unbelievably