If you knew what would happen later that morning
Perhaps brioche instead of the eggs,
yellow, wet, the last of your life. Perhaps
instead of the plain suit, your favourite dress,
which raises up your breasts like moons.
Perhaps yes instead of late, and no;
last love with your man, edge to edge
so the world is pressed out. He will know
the moment he sees the prim, particular way
the woman smoothes her skirt before the jump:
say no, say you, and watch through the smoke
as the blue sky opens and swallows, the way
your daughter opens and swallows, bird-like
on your giving fingers.
There will be new tenses. New ways to say your name.
Firsts of everything that are now less;
first birthday, first Valentines, first Christmas.
For years he will dream of your body,
a glass hammer that breaks the sky.
For years, he will dream of an opening door –
the key in your hand, your swimmer’s back
dripping with sweat, with rinsed light.
The print of your lips on his neck. Of mistake.
Cheryl Pearson lives and writes in Manchester. Her poems have appeared in publications including The Guardian, Southword, The High Window, Under The Radar, Frontier, and The Interpreter’s House. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first full poetry collection, “Oysterlight”, is available now from Amazon/Pindrop Press.