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And in the coal cupboard you can hide filthy and quiet.

Quietly beside the kauri chest, gold meshed the radio

static fizzy and raspberry biscuits. The long road

between us is eaten all up. We talk about things,

her paintings (cough). Rows of roses oddly swelled

how difficult the light in the curve of the sea, the wave

of her hair perfectly cut, How is your father?

The question stands in the room with dust shining

all over it. A certain stillness in her sitting forward

like my cat as it creeps all eyes on the bird.

I look aside though my fires are banking up,

I say idly, Fine. I turn my back

wander the room to the Chinese letter

opener, you can split it apart —sharp!— to slit what is

sealed. She has nothing unopened. She keeps talking.

I look at the coalbox, its buttery beaten brass.

You’re very like your father, aren’t you?

If I say, my flames roar out the cracks.




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