365 Poems/206 The Return (Rough First Draft)

The Return

You come back, but you’re not

you anymore.


Your face vast, like the surface

of Antarctica, and your responses

slow, like feet through deep snow

in winter.


The windows whistle. You wanted

to fix them before the end, but now

it’s as though you can’t hear

the racket they make.


It’s not like in the films. You’re not

bloodthirsty. Nor are you just as before.


I wonder what happens when you

go into what hasn’t been your

bedroom for many months.


I wonder what she thinks

when you, bit by bit, shut

the door, closing the both

of you in together.


I crouch outside, hear

nothing. What is sleep

like when you’ve already

once tipped over into the abyss?


You speak so slowly, and I haven’t

seen you smile yet.


You forget about the herbal sweets

in the second drawer down.

You always had one after dinner,

before a cup of tea and a cigarette.


You are not yourself, and die again,

a week after coming back.


Behind cemetery walls,

grass regroups and grows.