In the beginning, an odd trickle of blood
and the tossing of pills into the river;
boiling black nights behind the heavy curtains,
I sweated dreams of your mother, landing and knowing.
Then the dams went up, and
the river gave no more pink.
The boy from Bombay loved us on those days;
he called to us from his newsstand.
“You two,” he said, “you two especially,”
though we knew he meant just me, anytime.
We crossed as many bridges as we could find,
or I did alone, looking to draw fear through myself,
to make it something less than this under-droning,
just another event, a changing of names in fact.
And now this heavy evening stroll from the off-licence,
with cans of lager for Katie’s mother downstairs;
and for us, a precious steaming take-away
of curried lamb and vegetables, extra hot,
to celebrate the nurse’s saying,
“Not you two, most likely not.”