I would like to prove that shadows fall from space, for I have seen them move
Images alighting on our chests as we’ve slept, like smoke rising, like

Indifferent progressions over skin, or like pirate descendants from out there
Who passed, once, over the picked-white bones of a long-dead whale
That drifted still

To find the softening rocks at the bottom of the earth. Their poaching hands through inadvertent memory

Retrieve the same, clear action of ropes that their fathers, & their fathers too,
In the dark hood of many nights, had corrected

Into smooth silhouettes of lines against the ballast of their sails.
Yet, in their fine Manifest weight, their shadows are a proving of our shape, for you do not need to look

To discern, that when the skeletons fall
There is a sculpting of our bodies, like effigies in air. I do not mean to say

This is anything, but the proving of a distance
Like figments

Of what we think we've seen. I do not mean
These are movements meant for us.

We remain as spareness,
Strapped, just-so, to existence, as if half-light premonitions. I can say this only

In that certain moment, when your voice increases to wake me,
To rise in solitude & in the centre of their action

To see starry darkness show its seams so we are white
Like freshly cracked chalk against the night.

Days like years later. Thrown my way, a multiplying image: What I wear curled, dried upwards in the sun.
A star.

Skin, leather, sleepless; homologous to the fabric of a day

Water damage from crouching out in rain— a yellow,
Seen through,

And hard. Limed likely, night on night...the beach in ebony
A body, me, and land in particles.

I am here at the bedrock city, an engineering.
I walk, I fold lapels, to lie neatly, as if acceptable. I am some dislocated tension kissing heels.
I am concerned

With the brilliance of distance,
With how stars are just dead light, and unoriginal

How they declare themselves in all directions, until
Given traction, the opposition throws
Shadows to our bodies in the dark.

You sleep on, and I wake.

They venerate an effigy of saints
And the sequence is reopened;
Because I can see, through the fog,
Through our closed position, we sit there
Still, upon the white obelisk, that lies
Resting on the stones beneath our feet

Copyright Kate Holford 2019