Tonight you are spare - on the threshold
of being old and new. Two walls
stripped bare, blue paper giving way
to yellow paint beneath.
The room’s split in half. Where I’ve been
too heavy with the scraper I hit concrete,
gouge it, leave it dull, grey. Tonight,
in the electric light, it glisters, winks
becomes a map of continents surrounded
by a yellow sea. Somewhere across the room
I’m bobbing on a buoy too far out.
I step round huddled furniture so I can run
my hands down the world on my walls,
feel life beneath my fingers. They graze Greece -
draw the heat from our nights there, freeze
when they reach Scotland. It snowed five days
on the trot and when I sank in a white ditch,
you peed yourself laughing.
And then there was the time you died
and I moved rooms, tore the paper from these walls,
emptied the chest of drawers. The wardrobe’s slack,
hangers clanked when I closed the door.
Everything in this room is spare,
now you’re not here to claim it.