To tire the mind you must first tire the body
Aspiring agoraphobe, the fox and
the midnight cat welcome me into
the dark. Leaving home should not be
a reckless act. Buttered tarmac
tempts, makes decisions I cannot
to narrow or swerve in hairpins.
This is the lesson of the night.
I am somehow initiated
so I do not step on any snails
but imagine the crunch as I spiral
into cursive mythlines. Leaves
rot as the body rots, reflects,
appearing clearer in nature’s
mirror. Tonight, the moon
is more metal than we thought:
she knows nothing can harm you
like your own mind. When sweet earth
opens, greet its kindness holistically.
Orange streetlamp excruciates:
a manufactured sunrise at tunnel’s end.
The stars switch themselves off.
Cheek brushing cheek
hands squeezing shoulders
these warming loves
social distance dances
measuring space – dictating
like double yellow lines
and red stop signs.
We must wait and wash
and wash and wait again
wave our hugs
and blink our kisses
brush paint on chapel
ceilings, bring marble
for carving muscle,
smoothed with resin for
renaissance of touch
Rachel Bates’ poems explore nature, nurture and the elusive tension between them. She is interested in the concept that poetry is language dreaming itself. Her poem ‘Privilege’ has been published in Kinda Ok’s Grow ‘n Pains zine. Based in Nottinghamshire, you can often find her fawning over dogs on Instagram: @rachelloisbates