Outside you all grow older,
Have a change of heart, move house in the summer.
But underneath, faces build on centuries of lost teeth
Canine, wisdom, raw molars, rotting
Jaws crisscrossing like jackdaws in woods.

Lost count of how long we’ve been here.
Can’t tell a daybreak from a duskfall.
All I know is that I love you, enough
To deepfreeze, to rust, to plug my ears with dust.

Wrapped up in bedcovers of earthy water,
We dream the mud of the bog, the duds of the wetlands
In our blood; stranded corpses scared in the pest house
Of young love, drowning in dirt, untouched, un-dug.

Somehow the animals don’t find us; can’t claw what’s left
With fake nails and blindness. Can’t even smell us.

We survive under the landscape. Dog flesh, skeletons gone
But still there somehow underneath the peated eiderdown
Of the dead years when we don’t speak.

Repeatedly pulling earth over our shoulders
We are neither water nor land, storm or stillness,
Like fishes that sleepwalk on mountains, horses that don’t drown.

In a dampbed we wait between realms.

[Read in the Salt Book of Younger Poets]

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