SA Leavesley

(Un)watching

 

I watch through city shadows –
patches of life snatched
from window silhouettes.

When a chair is empty,
I wonder what the unwatched
is doing further inside his square flat.

The watched only exist for me
in half-conversations
of a semaphore without flags.

One day we will meet, not
meet, meet…petalled possibilities
between each swinging door.

Today, curtains part-closed,
our almost facing windows are almost
mirror twins – almost.

A flicker of movement,
and I curve my lips to respond
to another lone life

layered briefly in shallow glass.
But my smile is a distant smudge
that trickles with the rain

to puddle on the balcony.

 

© SA Leavesley

 

 

Every speck/every drop

………./ everything

 

A speck of dust falls
from somewhere out of sight
above the distant skyline.

 

……….As it falls, gathered glistening;
……….water freezes to its shape.
……….A single ice crystal

 

…………………….becomes a sparkling
…………………….cluster of white light:
…………………….a perfect unique snowflake

 

………..that gains momentum as it drops
………..and leaves a trace
………..on everything it passes.

 

Like a poem quietly layering……………………..layering quietly in the air
line by line until it’s deeper…………….thickening molecule by molecule
than the mind’s eye can reach. …………..……………..heat and sea rising

 

…………..Deeper too than the fear…………….rising faster than we know
…………..
I can’t touch; I want to roll…………………………….aready adrift
…………..in these textures until I shine…  …………..polar-tilted oceanic

 

…………………..I spread my limbs like a felled tree
…………………..longing to stand tall again
…………………..with wings of feathered white.

 

………….As I wait, I hope that it is snow
that’s coming, not the shrapnel
…………………..of falling stars.

 

© SA Leavesley


 

Feathers and Teeth

 

I know it’s coming; I taste it in the air. The single April snowflake melts as it touches my face. Drew brushes the wet away. Seconds after, his lips on mine, everything melting.

 

Later, I recall this moment differently – a six-sided expanding crystal of ice in free- fall
……….towards
…………………….my bare skin: soft but burning.

Snow doesn’t belong to April. It’s too late, too unexpected, too cruel, though not yet cruel enough.

Drew grows furs, feathers and beaks. I shape-shift around him. Fearing I’ll spark flames, I teach myself to pass through cold air without leaving even a trace of breath. When we kiss now, my insides are tramped-on snow, tarmac-dirtied and yellow with dog-piss.

Angels aren’t the only things made from white feathering. Lie down on freezing ground overnight without twitching, and the snow creates its own dreaming landscapes, with sleeping animals hidden below the quiet. Waking up, sudden beasts rise – growling, screaming, howling. Then pouncing.

That year, I glove my hands like a falconer, feed Drew stale titbits in place of fresh meat, watch him fly in circles straining after live prey. His dark feathers lose their gloss, his glistening fur grows thin, dull and grimy; his beak curves downwards though his claws dig in.

Alone, I feel icebergs break loose from a frozen lake. Thousands of fish flicker brightly beneath. Yet a single foot rested on the surface, and a person could sink in.

When it blizzards that spring, not a single flake reaches my face. Words avalanche from Drew’s open mouth but I can’t hear a thing. We chew at the ties that bind us as rats gnaw unceasingly to avoid choking on their own teeth. And to keep them chisel-sharp.

Before the thaw comes, one of us will bite free – releasing
…………………………………………………………………………………..the other.

 

© SA Leavesley

 

“If I had the time…”

 

Clock hands would fly freer than a humming bird / and sing as sweetly.

There’d be far more second chances.

My figure would be hour-glass / no idle moments waisted.

Life wouldn’t trickle like dry sand from my fingers.

The glass of grains would never empty / but always stay half-full.

Waves would hear my moonlit sadness / and break to slackness before my feet; / fickle tides would pulse backwards.

I wouldn’t dread Narcissus / or the bathroom face of vast ripples.

There’d be channel-surfed nights / after days of momentous coasting.

With all that ‘now’ on my hands / I’d cry more, not less, for the grit that lingers in my eyes / from the longer wake of those passing.


© SA Leavesley

 

Atlas

 

With every tweet
……………………………………………………………….with every phone
……………………………………………………………….pinging to attention
to read, feel, speak
……………………………………………………………….I notice the world tilt
a little off-kilter
……………………………………………………………….like a record
skipping a note
……………………………………………………………….a missed pulse
……………………………….a lost tune
……………………………………………………………….More & more
it’s the silence
………………………………in between that
……………………………………………………………….I wait for
hoping to find
……………………………..a sound of peace
……………………………………………………………….& know
that in the dark hours
…………………………….when I need it
……………………………………………………………….I’ll be able to catch that
deep heartbeat
……………………………A heartbeat
……………………………………………………………….which isn’t alone –
……………………………………………………………….listen
it’s so quiet now
……………………………………………………………….you might hear me
……………………………………………………………….I
might hear me

 

© SA Leavesley

 

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