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Two hours in this overcrowded lounge
and for no reason I’m replaying
the moment I tumbled from the cab
and through a waiting room and found you
listing on a gurney, your face masked
with blood and the skin split wide across
the new rift in your skull.

And how I would have chipped a needle
from my bone, undone every sinew
in me to stitch up the wound in you.
And it was only later, home, you
woozing on the sofa, that I knew
how close you’d come to being gone. And
I understand today

that we’re in two different terminals
and heading opposite directions,
and I cannot pinch this distance closed
with tender thumbs. There’s no staunch or stitch
or suture that I can cry out for
for this. This is how our hurts come down.
Hard and without warning.

 

published in Magma 50 (Summer 2011) edited by Clare Pollard

Antony Dunn’s third collection, Bugs, was published by Carcanet in 2009.

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