Giles Goodland


Night knocks and wants to come in,
his mortuary hair across his eyes.
He is pushy but has a mouth
irresistible in turns of phrase
and we are tempted each time except
for the cold he carries which
burns through the cracks in his skin.

He is in fact many people, all
long drowned, faces disengaged.
He is sad because no one wants
to write his obituaries. When he died,
the journalists were still asleep,
dreaming in copy. When they woke
it is past late. They always write
the wrong deaths, miss the point.

Night's word for death is laughter.
He has a grammar in which sentences
are mist. He foxes the room with his steam.
You feel him grip the sides of the sofa
like an undertaker. You look away.
Each morning something small has been
taken, and we cannot say what.

Giles Goodland's book is forthcoming from Salt Editions.

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