She isI am sitting in a room

  1. hidden between the branches of a tree
  2. I know you said you were the last one out
  3. but they didn’t believe you
  1. each evening they bring parcels of food
  2. or objects they have found or made
  3. I can see them through the holes in the floor
  4. left like bait
  5. but I never go down to take them
  6. it would be like dismantling a shrine
  1. sometimes they pin fresh cut flowers to the trunk like it is the breast of a jacket I wish I could wear
  2. because I’m bored of my own clothes now
  3. most of them are in piles on the floor
  1. with their own holes
  2. made by the moths
  3. and I’ve wished I could get rid of them
  4. but then there’s this one that looks like red paper
  5. yesterday
  1. someone backed up their car right to the foot of the tree and left the engine running
  2. the noise woke me up
  3. thank god
  4. and I scrambled to block the holes with my clothes
  5. and climbed one wall
  6. all the way to the top
  1. up there you are level with the roofs
  2. and I watched the house martins in the eaves and the sparrows in the gutter
  3. and the magpies arrive in groups on the aerials
  4. and then the rain
  1. the clothes were enough
  2. to plug the holes
  3. and the rain felt like grace
  4. and the wooden walls
  5. felt like stone
  1. and there was a garden all around me
  2. and I eased myself down as the room filled up
  3. it was like walking down steps
  4. as my toe broke the surface
  5. I saw the moths
  6. wings outspread
  7. among the leaves floating in the corners
  8. the red one too
  9. and then
  1. the alonewith of the water
  2. I just knew others had been here before
  3. like a ritual
  4. I could still smell the fumes
  5. hear feet on the car’s roof
  6. but I could smell the flowers too
  7. dormant
  8. ready to be cut open
  9. and I walked on
  10. and down
  1. each step long enough
  2. to soak a strip of my weight
  3. one more
  4. it was over my shoulders
  5. I breathed in
  6. as I leant back
  1. and my ears filled with water and a sound
  2. like the bruised overspend of a
  1. man shouting
  2. and I tried to answer him
  3. but
  1. it’s already too late
  2. the others’ dirt
  1. it will burn like chlorine in your mouth