Each raindrop contains a soul
I’m told, and sleet is nought
but the urgent need of the dead to meet
their loved ones once more in the mortal world.
To stroke their skin, to leave a living trace;
a tear drop – a thin, translucent meridian.
My grandmother never used an umbrella
and would tip back her head and eat the rain.
She said it made her feel alive again.
Your Bones and My Bones are Chicken Bones
Holding hands, a wishbone splits us from collar to cuff
and only the clucking between marks stars from seed.
Our eggs are born in our mouths, crowned around
with a wreath of tawny feathers we invent with speech,
and no expanse of crowing will whittle the chicken
into lark, or goose, or inky raven.
The chicken is a chicken – splaying gnarled toes and plucking skull,
and no new squawks will help that lie be sown.
But our bones are the same, I grant you,
our bones are the same. Composite of brittle chalk
and precious like the stalks of daisies in chains
holding together a form paused in the effort of flight.
The Girl Who Fell in Love With the Mountain
I kissed the southern face of a mountain;
his coat scrubbed coarse; smelt of bones
and the iron blood from ruined stone.
The earth moved with me, fell beneath my lips
and I was received into earnest mud;
an ancient epidermis of soft heathers, grass,
and gallant crags enclosing me as his hill-bairn.
I lay immersed, fingering vast feathers
tickling to tender licks, his form; my body-palm
and all the while I rested there
the sunlight streaked my hair with white.
The Weight on My Feet
My tired feet
have shed skins inside my shoes
and now shy; tired feet,
They crack; a knapsack of bones.
They’re stumps, stollen lumps
I press nightly to knead the butter out.
But they curl under, still,
coiling into paw-pads;
ripe plums to stand on.
Oh my feet, my tired feet
they hope to float so I soak them,
root them like bulbs
amongst nimbler water lilies
to let the rest of me talk.
My tired, tired, fire feet.
I have so much more to say.
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