Driveways

photo by Stephen O'Shea

photo by Stephen O'Shea

You are my slope of Wednesdays:
            the matte of the partially-cloudy-light
            falling on buildings that are not falling.
Everything has been boxed.
We are neat, standing without hunger.

Good flatlined through four years,
Ringed fingers, ringing ears,
heart                beat
         fixed to
heart                beat,
rhythmic as the Montana plain.

There are times I want to
                        beat
on your chest
to release the ravens I painted on your ribcage,
to see something shocking flying from you.

I think by looking out the window.
I sip tea carefully.
My pockets are empty.

Her eyes were violet.
Her spine was hummingbird.

You carry boxes outside,
place them in the minivan,
return over gravel pebbles.

I lift the spoon to my mouth,
roll sugar pebbles over my tongue,
dissolving.

Her mouth was mango.

Your hands slip around my waist,
lotioned, careful;
you hold me without shivers.

Her voice was jays; rude, startling.

I will not say love;
it is a word for the young
            and the gilded.

I will say that you are packing boxes
            and she is tugging me from your spaces
                        as dancers in yellow   
                        release their grey sweaters


Kathryn Ailes is a US-UK Fulbright Scholar at the University of Strathclyde researching themes of nationalism within poetry responding to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. She enjoys writing for the written page as well as performing “slam” poetry at venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow, recently with the collective Loud Poets. She blogs about creative practice on her website: here.