Last Night I Lay Awake
Last night I lay awake
in bed, listening to the house
and planets whispering.
I fidgeted and they fell silent.
The universe swept itself
under the carpet,
darkness overflowed the bath: I'd
upset the rhythm of things.
As I held my breath,
the nocturnal sighing
returned: a poltergeist
began humming in the attic,
swinging his hips to the pulse
of the southern lights; a possum
shook comets from a canopy;
hooping winds bundled the moon
through my bedroom door as eerie creatures
from the neighbours’ pipe dreams slid
like liquid sugar down the alleys,
kissing the streetlights out with enormous lips,
and I promised not to make a scene again.
I will lie awake, motionless and soundproof,
as the gutters creak, the tiles crack,
and the windows crystallise,
waiting for the stars to breathe out
and space to unfold
(winner 3rd place in the Fish Publishing International Poetry Prize, 2010)