Alan Fish, ‘When I was’


When I was


It was early. It was before love shifted back
its powers of separation. It was a late party.

After the talking that leaves memory upright
as fingers, in me ringing like a wine-drinker’s

long glass stem, in a kind of alcoholic music,
I must have been more than one bottle over:

I tripped and fell downstairs. I fell onto our
tiny lawn. I didn’t break! I lay there shocked

below the terrace. I shouted the stars were frost
on a black bonnet, how I was in love with you

and still in love with all our friends, the young,
sexually abundant shapes of them. My brain

registered the skin, the shoulders of imagined
lust, the summery legs of female arguments.

You, it was one of you, stood on the terrace
telling me to please shut up. It wasn't possible.

I was shouting, I was drunk. You had a bucket.
When I looked up I saw a woman of water

fall onto me. She was clean and cold and naked.
I lay under her, I was sodden, and content.

from  The Keeper of Fish   by Alan Fish





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