When it comes at me in the mirror with its meaning ramping up until it passes and lowers in pitch, I’m on the bit of the M1 where it bisects the Ring of Gullion and I switch lanes, and let my right foot alleviate its weight on the accelerator of the Focus, and the ambulance is faster, and the shift in its report an effect of the change in the wave’s frequency and length on the observer, who is, in this case, me, heading up to Newry hospice off the redeye, and I lag and have to have the window down for brisk air. If the grief moves in towards me at high speed, the wavelengths I observe are decreased as the frequency increases. I don’t know what this means though I can tell you how it feels: in the cryptic centre of my head a voice recites a rhyme I read somewhere or heard once or otherwise made up: Let us go to the woods, one little pig cries. But why would we do that? his brother replies. To look for my mother, the little pig cries. But why would we do that? his sister replies. For to kiss her to death, the little pig whispers. What is driving along this but a guided dream since the road feeds itself in as the planed length time feeds to the mind’s lathe to get it trimmed correctly to size: heavy clouds; the waterlogged fields; a rainbow arcing faintly out to the west and I keep that with everything I keep to myself. I am either in the midst of it or on my own or both things are true at the same time. I kill the radio. Were the universe to finish, music would endure though I have no memories left for the moment before so when I think of you I think of you sat slumping on the edge of the mattress, zonked on Zopiclone, small and bald as a wee scaldy fallen out the nest and found there hours after you were meant to have gone on to bed. At my coming in you barely raise your head, your eyes are half-shut and you cannot find the holes for the buttons on your nightie, because you have it on you inside out. I know every journey to a source is homecoming, and I am bombing along the District of Songs along the Great Road of the Fews, towards you, through a depression left by the caldera’s collapse. This is the District of Poets, the district of The Dorsey: Doirse meaning doors or gates, the solitary pass to the old kingdom through the earthworks’ long involvement, a pair of abrupt Iron Age banks running parallel for a mile or so. An entrenchment. An entrance. All manner and slant of analogy etcetera but when, in the end, we had kissed you to death, we sat and held your cold hands for a half hour more and wiped with tissues all the black stuff bubbling up from your lungs away from your lips, and wept a good bit, and got up then and folded your clothes and stacked your cards and binned the flowers, and I sat out there in my rental car in the car park as you kept on lying in here, past all metaphor, left by yourself on the cleared stage like a real corpse.
Click the icon above to listen to this audio poem.