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Sound and Light

All these years and I still don't understand

how it works, how the signal gets through

the bones of my hand, the bricks of this house,

the bank building opposite, and across miles

of suburb and field, pylons and roads,

hills and four rivers to precisely you,

in another city, another house, another room,

hunched by the bath with your phone in your hand,

sobbing. You can't bear to feel so split,

you gasp. Downstairs you hear

a chair scrape, a man's voice.

He laughs, in dialogue with another ghost.

But I understand how light works.

Earlier your back gleamed like a guitar.

The last leaves on the sycamore

flickered like a school of mackerel.

Later I will go out in a leopard coat of light

without you: just me and the trees baring themselves

for winter, and the marbled paving stones,and my empty hand shining

By Henry Shukman