St Jude’s

The clinked latch woke me
inside the tower. Past midnight,
and outside, voices … the stretch
of headlights across the rafters,

a dozen rooks asleep in a brace
of echoes. Hollow, uninhabited –
all the living parts of me
were flown. But then enough,

enough. My forehead daubed
in ash, the silence folded
around me like a dark wave.
In the ruined spire, in the filth

of life, I made
whatever sound it took
to call each part of myself by name
and return it to the house of song –


In the elderly, winter trees, these bright,
synaptic clusters are forcing the bark

in green, glossy lesions – their sweet,
prying hands heaving the flesh

apart. Each stem is knuckled, flush
with thieved water. So, there was a day

when my mind had split, a vacuum
seeded with light. And slowly, aching,

its cloying stem unfurled. Here,
at least, is the season. Finally,

its pearlescent fruit –

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