Through the Wall
Waking us up in the night
the cat we were drowning
is a baby under the water,
and the pair of voices
bubbling through the wall
are frantic divers, cradling,
bringing up the victim,
draining congested lungs.
We step back from the water’s edge,
discreet pillows over our ears,
and, like the coal-tar vaporiser
that is the votive candle
smelling sweet in a tourists’ church,
let the pungency of others’ pain
duly incense the room next-door;
and empathy’s confessional
be a nice old Tardis in the dark,
dematerialising us back to sleep.
© Nemo 2023
All these reads and not one comment! How disheartening. I remember this one from before. The imagery is dark and haunting, the content original.
Perhaps people did not understand it?
However, even if they don’t completely, it is obviously well written.
I don’t know what has happened to the site but it is not encouraging it would seem.
I find the way the site is at present very dispiriting. Thanks for commenting, Alison. The poem is very compressed and perhaps not as literal as many are used to.
Excellent! Let’s not look at the mirror at all, if we have to reject what we see there.
What was the problem in saying ‘we were drowning the cat’
Thanks, Supratik. If anyone had a problem with ‘the cat we were drowning’ they should not take it literally but read it as the way we might interpret the sound of a tiny baby crying if we heard it in our sleep. And a nod to Mallarmé.