by Harry Man


The white artery of your spine

hovers beneath a butterfly’s ghost;


wings budding into flight

twice a second, heartbeat by heartbeat.


The isthmus of your foot kicks in the fluid –

the pressure of the sensor is ticklish.


With the end of his biro the doctor

circles your magnified hand gloved in light


and this shimmer, this afterthought of air

in the trees, is the breath of your mother.


Night-blind you will fumble back

to its anthem through the clicks


of your hardening head.

This song, secret as a light switch,


is how your breathing will be.

The warmth of my wrist on your belly;


your pulse and mine in time –

the first of your strengths is to be loved.

© Harry Man