half past believe

(i)

the exhibits of dreams sit
on the mantelpiece
next to the dead clock stuck on

half past believe and
one dried thorny devil with
permanent grin and

as you sleep the sleep of the
lonely clock hands bleed
and thorny devil winks and

pops the cork in the
bottle and with the blue-tac tongue
and absence of lips

eats the note and says she pre-
fers running writing to print

(ii)

you have interest only
in lingering in
that space between wake and sleep,

in licking spoonfuls
of treacle-like fall as the
anaesthetist says

 

         …2

         2.

count backwards, climbing that swing
and kicking out and
kicking in and kicking out

‘til unhinged at the
tip of arc where gravity
is yet to be etched

by Einstein who winks and asks
“the weight of disbelieving?”

(iii)

but when the sea lets go of
you, when the scent of
brine and weed no longer owns

you, yes, then you rest,
forgotten beside a conch,
the pizzicatti

of rain on your skin, and wind
salves your fret, tides lick
your song as I crawl from the

conch and you blurt “be
hides inside believe” and then
scrunch up the left side

of your face and I say “here,
your first lesson in winking….”

 Kevin Gillam 

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