Holding a spade in moonlight behind the café
where we ate lunch this afternoon.
Silver. Silver garbage cans and clotheslines and fences.
Air itself radioactive, cold.
What is there to dig for?
You are on a plane over the Atlantic.
Nothing tells me what to think of this.
So here I am gouging clean triangles of grass,
letting the spade claw through.
Amber in batterylight, café floorboards
above—umber, stone, anger,
—and always, beyond the flat end of blade,
the object (is it you?) asphyxiating,
just out of time.
I strike metal—
a chill through the handle
and my arm sockets. A small tin box.
Unlocked. Inside, a book labelled Weather.
Sepia photos, corn fields spangled
with grit or UFOs. Veined stalks of fennel clouds, dust
devils, rainbows over splayed livestock,
page after page of signs, bad skies
drifting to sea.
Chill morning light
from the cave mouth. No birds. This
on the first damp page:
You are gone, in a child’s silver scrawl.