When it comes to me, green, through the green window
it is not green but brown. When it enters the back
of the eyes it is not brown but black with a faint afterglow.
When I wake in the night, once again it is black,
then swells into a kind of gold or foxed yellow.
When the moon rises, that which is cold freezes
and creeps under the nails with a peculiar noise
I can’t quite identify. When, eventually, it squeezes
through the double glazing it is a blend of alloys
passing through the usual predictable phases:
now full, then mildly dented like an old football,
cut sharp in the middle, a slice of lemon,
the merest sliver of ice left on the floor, a small
dense patch of nothing. But who are these women
sitting immobile, patient in the hall?
I feel their cold. Their manners are the politesse
of death, their small talk is of moons waning.
I watch them as they rise and dress
in little black numbers. Their stars hang
in the cupboard. The moon waits on the terrace.
From The Rialto No 66 (Spring 2009)