On Eriskay

She met me at the fence. A kelpie
who’d stayed too long in this horse form,
she mouthed the sugar on my palm,
and when I slapped her barrel flank
the goose-moor stiffened with a sea
perfume. Gulls gathered on the stoop.

What a way to be seen out: confused
among the pearlwort and the fallow.
Her beach songs, like the recalled taste
of bucket milk, inched from her tongue.
Dusk grew behind the house. I watched
her drink the moon from a moon-filled trough.

 

*

 

For the Cold

The last tenant of our newest house,
had the gas boiler fire up in the late hours.
And so, last night, so cold, I listened to
the floorboards warp in the unwelcome heat.

I barely slept. The thought of him stretched out
beside us, hot as a hand that gives the slap.
Since then the water tenses in the pipe,
as his darkness changes to my dark.

 

Photograph by Alasdair Mckenzie

The Self-Illuminated
I Read Granta