The clocks in Kerrin’s kitchen layer
in a syncopated tic-tic, toc-toc
and when she sets the kitchen timer
the third layer is a running stitch of
filling the whole room and Gordon rattles
when he walks. At the Nurse Maude Hospice
shop we are hunting for foxes, deer, and
rabbits. I sing ‘Run rabbit’ and Kerrin runs out
of the tilting house then lies on the grass,
her hands over her eyes, waiting for a large tree
to fall on her. The city is constantly
under construction, so many empty spaces,
so many car parks, you can get lost
in your home town without familiar landmarks.
My google glass app returns the lost buildings
but they jiggle on my hand-held screen.
On the dark drive back to James’s the headlights
catch a white cow by the roadside, her mouth open
as if she is panting, her throat stretches out
and her eyes swivel in their sockets, perhaps
she is in pain or maybe just lowing? The sky
over the city glows pink with light trapped
in low fog, so it looks as if the city were
radioactive, pulsing in the distance. In my sleep
a troubled young man is haunting me, he moves
things around the room, prods me awake,
the furniture disappears. He wants me to know
all these things, to take note.
Are Friends Electric? Helen Heath. Victoria University Press, 2018.
Read our interview with Helen