for Yann

Silence can fill a room like an elephant,
its crosshatched bulk up against the wall,
sulking and seedy. Or it sits like a bird
in the breast of a child, ruffled and panting, afraid.

She used to be afraid of the black pool of silence
between them: the not-said, the almost-said,
the if-only-he-would-say-it. Words refusing to surface,
drawing her closer to the brink, wanting to plunge in,
to search them out herself.

Until he taught her how to peel her stare
from the centre of the pool, how to stay still,
to picture underneath the water fish turning
deep and green through liquid marble.