Panic Bird


He’d gone on and on about the dog
in meticulous detail. We drank coffee
I shouldn’t be drinking:
freshly-ground, heart-thumping
  and trembling spoons
as he described this creature
loping towards him, wet-tongued
and black as a galleon, massive paws
  eclipsing everything–
his mouth, his dinner,
his speechless clock
and its rolling, perpetual hours
  of moonless silence.

But the black dog didn’t come.
He stuck up his snout at me,
  padded away
and instead, the big red bird
made its roost
upon my shoulder.
The red bird,
its cawing, feathering,
panic I can’t switch off. At night,
cracking one eye
like a hatchling, the cackling Freud
on his sparrow-legs
of nosebleeds, leaks,
  red feathers
glued to my skull. And so
I take up insomnia
as though I were taking up knitting.

‘Nice glass of wine,’ he said, pouring,
‘to make you feel better,’
so here I am, blinking up
through the wide-bottomed glass–
  buzzed out of my brains
in these four walls white
as rubber gloves
and my panic-bird huge
as a thumping heart
never going to sleep.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s