Watching the Dead

It’s how you remember him most.
Under the lampshade with no sound,
cobalt slip-ons angled by the chair,
hands white as plugs
(he’d always question the purpose of winter).

It’s how you remember him most.

Paints in a fossil box
where no sound is like a new colour.
His speciality was drawing birds,
always birds, reimagined for the eyes,
each work a swirly miracle,

lines and curves seemed to come and go,
he would mouth angles, scribble daylight,
erase (in your opinion) the perfect blossom,
he would do this with emphasis and speed.

You used to wrestle in the back room,
lose yourself in the dark dwellings of his belly;
he’d bury your voice in his coil-sprung fat
then retract to gnaw at your skin,
kiss your tangled delicate face.

He looks foreign to you yet beautiful,
he is newly trimmed and retains
a certain majesty,
he wears a moth-gold pin with his smart-dark suit
and he smells of vanilla. No licorice.

You feel guilty somehow for being afraid
so you try not to breathe too much.
Loud silences. Your stomach moans about hunger.

And colour! Your brain aches to see colours that lie within life,
colours full of birds,
the still-near.



Jared Sagar is a writer living in Norwich, United Kingdom with his partner Clare and hamster Gertie. His previous publications have been in The Honest Ulsterman and The American Journal of Poetry.