Deep, slow-wave sleep
like anaesthesia

I’m hauled up from its pit
by lips,

not salty, or tasting
of mint, but faceless,

god-like. Their touch
ripens my eyes

to sealed scars, resurrects
my mouth with warmth.

A chink
of consciousness,

unasked for,
without consequence.

and so,
entirely pure,

before shrinking
to black.

Like my father’s

his final blind
shift of thought,

spotlit, separate,
calling my mother’s name

as if he just walked in from work
across the lamplit hall.

Then receding back
to unconsciousness,

his face implacable,
unphased by lack

of any ordinary answer.
As if

something broken healed again

Instead of what
is left to us.

The thin broken mirror
in my hands,

seven years bad luck,
the concertina of shards,

stray shivers
that cling

to the sweat
on my palms.