There is no shame in undressing
But I can’t help feeling
If the trees had teeth they’d be gritted
Down to the gums
As the cold licks them clean.
I’ve been thinking a lot about hurricanes
People and possessions and cars
Torn away on unknown currents
Houses buckling and spilling their contents. Exorcisms
Everything gone with one sweep of tide
pollution spat into a swirl of Godawful senselessness.
How our losses end up in landfills or tangles of wheezing gulls and turtles.
Our impermanence fossilised in plastic
Junk that we’ve buried in the frenzy of squirrels
Knowing the winter will starve us
Knowing as we wait on the roofs of our lot,
No one has sent the boats or helicopters for us.
And wood, wood knows how to rot,
Even rock doesn’t know how to let the tide
Scape it so smooth.
If we could lose our bones like beachwood
If we could slip out of our hair and teeth
And ability and family and homes
The way trees release their leaves
Rot that smells so sweet
Ripe with pips and seed
The concrete filling live
With curled spirits
of bugs and frogs and mushrooms and mice and
I never learned how to conker
All these tiny losses
Mouse curved and twitching all over with whiskers,
Skin dried to bird’s-chest fineness,
Tail loose with sleep,
Frost at its nose,
So brittle you can see skeleton
Too fine to be bone
What will be left of you?
Not even a pip at the centre, not even stone.