Boxed here, her room, fruit punch served as breakfast,
no TV, bad reception, books on architecture,
more on trees, runes, in dust.
The mattress, as ever, unshaped to my skin, bones;
and so the pain goes, comes in waves.
Now the radio, its waves, long and lonely,
and she and I in every note.
Each point, the scan finds some instrument,
some aria, far flung, from the far reaches of time zones.
She and I in every note, transatlantic, beyond the static,
under shadows of satellites, transitions of planets,
across oceans of waves, long and short.
Nothing but French rap, faint jazz, something cool,
not in my language.
Violins take us to Prague, cellos to Munich, the harp
takes us out of body, beyond the clouds —
like signals depart — a slow sail to outer bounds,
out to the stars, where, my love, we reside. I hear us
back between stations, frequencies, mistuning
the dial, delirious.
For now, another room, through drywall,
in whatever waves may soundproof her sleep.
It’s quiet now, but for the chainsaws of morning,
the wireless off at the wall.
So how can I know, somewhere our love is playing,
out of a smartphone, bluetooth earphone, she and I
in every note, beyond this room, in waves long and short.
Cats scratch occasionally, run their arms round
the door’s gap, like tarantulas.
And as I gather my clothes, escape the chainsaw,
sour fruit punch, windowsill and drought of company,
September’s shadows lean from poplar trunks.
Patri Wright has been shortlisted for the 2015 Bridport Prize, and poems from his pamphlet Nullaby have been published in several magazines, including Agenda, Poetry Quarterly and Brittle Star. He teaches Creative Writing at The Open University. You can find out more about him at his website.