Sarah Corbett

Four Poems

Motorcycle Man

First here I couldn’t sleep,
woken by a hand at my face,
the room cold although it was august
and colder still the three nights

I tried an exorcism – salt water,
crystals, the usual circumspection –
all I could achieve a reckoning,
an agreement to co-exist.

Every house has its ghosts.
What is it they say about stone:
minerals record like water,
memory its element?

It was sadness returned –
Malcolm, whose house this was,
killed in a motorcycle accident –
and sadness that lingered.

My son, two years old, sleep-
walking: the young man
come to him instead, helmet
under his arm like some parody.

One day we will leave and leave
behind us our ju-ju
of tantrums and broken nights,
every sorry word I ever gave out

at midnight, at three in the morning;
the nightmare that attends
a homecoming – the speed
of it, faceless – shaking me open.


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