She watched the swallows sleeping—
Heads tucked-in—on the wire
Outside her open shutters.
The village phones rang but

They slept on and the words
Passed through their tiny grip
Migrating, looping and crossing
Through the invisible lands.

As tongues clicked, cicadas scraped
And the drying plane trees stirred
As water-song rushed in the square
From the lips of a woman’s stone face

As a dog barked, a fox shrieked in the vines
And a rabbit jerked up white-eyed
As a couple clung on, lost in sheets
That tugged at their fusing thighs

As a screen in a kitchen changed colour
Bringing the news—as an owl called out
As the obsolete bell struck in the tower
One, two, three—she was awake each hour.

So still on their thin black line
Claws closed on wire, channelling
Voices—the bodies of the sky—while
She wept with the shock of being live.