Poetry Chaikana: Nocturne


By Andrew Colliver
(1953 – )

You are woken in the night
by something that cannot speak
in daylight, that has no purchase
in the hard currency of your life.

Outside is the shallow well
of a sleeping town; electric lights
peek faintly into black space,
and the lithe ghost of the dark

slips into the only house that
bids it welcome. Your husband
lies snoring, dreams of another
world, offers you rough the gift

of aloneness. Know this:
what arrives here cannot
be other than itself, and
has no care for you. It

has no words, and no respect
for yours, so finds your body,
colonises your spine, feeds
you up into the sea of stars. You

may think you are changing,
or hope; but you are simply
failing to forget, allowing
stillness to be recognised.

You are momentarily disappearing,
to enter your own voice, see
with your own eyes, become
the body you gave birth to;

you have returned to
your own faithfulness,
your own unimaginable

– From the unpublished manuscript A Day of Light, by Andrew Colliver

thanks to poetrychaikana.

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