A large room and in the room
an old smell of something even older.
The sound of bells that the day mercilessly silenced.
The growing insight that the city stood on hollow ground.
The memory of the forest, scent of bog myrtle, pine needles,
and the wasted days of childhood, treading
up to one’s chin in prickly hay.
If he sat really still the people at last came
towards him, walked right through, did not see him.
It was like the thin lilac-blue snow crust he balanced
on through the forest, on his way to school; never knowing
when it would break.
His most usual nightmare that as an adult
he would get caught in the great festive photograph as an
insignificant spot that is dusted away before family gatherings.
Sometimes faces approached on the road
but he maintained obstinately that hw was there
for the space between people.
When the world became a landscape that slowly faded away
he opened all the locks and doors,
threw himself in –