(for Brett)

the baby breathes easily
                the air in the glass box

he wants both nipples at once
                but must come to rest with rubber

his brother also shares a little
                in this taste of near-containment

somehow their mother has managed
                to save them both for life

Matt Hetherington (Australia)



    (Written for and inspired by Matt)

    Yes, I am now attracted to the mute certainty

    Of arms as oars

    The sunstroke back too and the smell of Bruts

    When you stammered for the right words you found

    (when every little nail starts to grow inwards

    and every little injustice is anticipated)

    The foreskin of intent

    Now spider web veins on cheeks, ingenious angina

    Those rubber band calves, gorilla nipples

    And a chip butty as the remedy

    Wearing your mother’s shoes to school

    And later a stick and a wheel

    You hid from him

    But I never tried to hide from you

    That to me would have been badly


    We all remember that sticky billiard-table shame

    Joins on the stairs and a dark glass around the ring

    We have both stopped measuring the lid-fulls

    On grim table nights when the teeth

    Need picking long

    I too

    Am that other man

    At the workplace with another greeting face

    So your butter lives on bread, abatement of sadness

    And the disregarded piano listens all night to the night

    I see that painting you had is still hanging

    The one with the landscape I used to run through

    Every dinnertime

    I recognize your temper, bent back

    And sliced profile, sliced silence

    The impulses of grabbing hands

    From today’s hard-bellied words

    Our identities are cast firm

    So, this figure is figuring it out.


  2. thanks, brett...tis a good poem...and quite moving, for me...soonly, achi! ;)


Now that Uneven Floor has retired from active publication, no new comments are possible — sorry. You're welcome to share the poem on social media and comment there.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.