in anticipation / we are vernalised

i. echo
our September kissed me after a winter of agony
and I was leaf-tip, green and trembling;
and you were peachy keen and so patient,
no rush, no rush, no rush.

ii. homonym
we were still barely dipping toes when we went to the water
waist-deep and wet hair and braver than brave,
seaweed and sunburn be damned.
we got a whole, warm summer; a season of love,
of the intrepidation of hands and hearts
like us, and like this poem,
so much more than we planned.

iii. event horizon
when two thirds of our precious next flew like you did,
away, away, and all at once back to my arms,
autumn tempered our tenderness –
ever softer, ever stronger,
steeling ourselves as space swept stars.
our glow came home with you, across the sky,
just as I had hoped;
the days grew shorter, and we stretched to fill them with light.

iiii. vernalisation
the cold nights come again tomorrow;
see already how we draw our warm quarters,
curled safe of us and around us.
we are inking what has been,
pencilling daydreams and dates.

today we mark three seasons –
brimming eager for the fourth.



where all is still safe

carve a bath and I will come;
my heart needs the water and I can’t sleep.

the weeks since the last time are wet winter sand:
the long little days crumble to grains.
they and I are wondering
if being counted might have saved them.
still my hands were full of other hands,
and the memory of a squeeze is worth twice the sum.

now my lunch is packed, my books stack high,
and the day before me stretches far along the shore.
I have emptied out the season’s shoes
but the wind never leaves my hair.
I kiss my own brave mouth and know that this year,
salt isn’t only for sadness.

here is the box of promise,
of trepidation and treasure and the sea deep inside.
I listen. and stop. and hold it in my palm.
here is the teacup before the ocean,
this precious space before tomorrow.