The night the heat drove you to take
your bed out onto the balcony
when the wind came in off the sea
roughing the leaves of the tamarinds,
I didn’t follow.
Separate we slept with nothing to soften
the insistence of cars on the street,
and separate we woke to the sound
of the sun coming up over the lagoon.
A sparrow had come in the night
and settled as close as possible,
in the crumple of sheet beside you
as if she couldn’t bear to be without you.
I watched you both
the pulse in your neck now easy,
your arm nesting her,
head tucked into her breast, plump with sleep.
Sensing my breath in the air
she opened her wings and flew from you,
leaving behind some soft imagining of herself
curved and pale.
From Toil the Dark Harvest, Bradshaw Books, 2004