The Landing Window is Unspeakable

by Miriam Gamble

There’s a turn in the stairs beyond which,
in the darkness, you are terrified to go
the realm of the creaking life which somehow carries on
when everyone is out cold and unable to witness it.

There’s a mindmade barrier at the door
of your parents’ room: their sleeping frightens you,
the heavy breath, the still, recumbent forms.

You’ve been ferried back from lightdrenched places,
in coaches, the customary glare
of the mintgreen bathroom trebled in intensity,
like it sucked in pigment while you were gone.

Then woken foxed by the dimensions of the house
you’ve lived your whole conscious life in.
The recurrent dream of a cat walking a wall,
a provisional touching your father’s hair.