Nightpoems 13/7/2010 – Peter Boyle

Tonight there is no one else in the house. Birdless treeless night, I slip dead alarm clocks into my pockets before going to bed. When the walls collapse I walk out onto a pier that has been built into the river below in the valley.
A young boy from a century ago stands there waiting for someone to turn up with a crate of beer. I walk back through the house. In the ground far underneath me I can hear the foundations of water shifting.
Maybe the boy waiting for beer will find this place, will surface painfully between the slabs in the laundry and shake off his robes of humus like an earthworm spending a sleepless night inspecting a hill.
Under the earth I can hear the clanking of cables, the realignment of tunnels. A city moves by underneath. I walk through the chaos of branches that have been cleared to create the emptiness that is the house.
I taste its elusive flavour: the bark, buds, roots working their way through the soil, the dissolved soap, used cups, feet unable to move from the shower, sweat on clothes, vanished owls, voices taken back. On the kitchen workbench vegetables wait so patiently to be chopped. Under a light bulb I stand in the memory of light.