Emma Gray

so I must have loved the smell of you 

that high-bird night on Calton Hill
when the wind looted our words 
so we perched close, you 
becoming my air -

for how your braid would breathe
into the fibrous root of itself
the tracing of days; 
guitar strings, tobacco,
onions frying whilst you danced,

would snake to sup our heat.
I joked I'd know if you were cheating -
that you'd buy shampoo,
cut your hair executive-short,

but the end, no Event,
just that unparticular morning
waking to hate your smell
as if something between us had rotted, 
made us sick.


The young poet says he is getting married,
the workshop has a wedding theme.
When we are to choose a person for a starting point 
he homes to his girlfriend as an example of a person,

says he always thinks of her 

in a yellow raincoat
though she doesn't have one 
and did we hear her in the next room laughing? 
He doesn't know what at. I wonder 
at a longing to pause us 
to ask

and what,
when we write our lists 
of things old, new, borrowed and blue,
he is placing on the long linened table of his page -

if he worries his gift of a raincoat
(there by the sonnets, the song thrush's egg)
might replace the one she wears
when he holds her in thought 




	[who liked them as babies best -
	projected on to screen of fresh skin
	the milky icon of herself
	before their mouths learned 
	the sound and the shape of no 
	and the whorls on their fingers
	deepened their difference
	to spread]

shrines them small. Each adult child a shelf:

*	 three plain pebbles 	                barely-shaped blocks of wooden boat	
	 long-forgetting small palm            unfit for sea

*	  bothy for one clay boy	               beige fired lion    	        worked-wax	
			        	                       he intended gold 	        torso of man

*	    comedy dog	        	                unicorn poem                   glazed girl	
            smiles smiles		       	                       	                         hugs knees

* Unused mug. 
   Handle, an infant's ear. 
   Name glossed.