I will discover his birth certificate while hunting
through inch-thick shavings of polystyrene at the base
of a white shoebox, set well in under the stairs

behind the old fish tank, the short blue wellingtons,
but not the erratum slip that must have followed him
into an air-conditioned, then an airless room.

His would have been the face bearded with soapbubbles
in the tub, while suds rustled down the side
when he splashed, to his mother’s chagrin. Her grin.

I think I might have felt his phantom fingers curl
around my wrist once and lead me down the garden
past the broken pegs, boosting me into a swing-tyre.

His name, I know, must still alliterate with mine
but is a white space        pushed to the back
of so much that’s been outgrown, and that’s why

my tiny lamp frosts like a glass bell of grave petals,
the headboard is chill grey stone and the top bunk
feels like fresh black earth above where I’m tucked in.