I step away from that hot dream / coiling snake in the desert, everything bleached and wake. The morning’s tentative, tastes bitter, as if you’ve done this before. Peel back the duvet, ruffle the lawn. The harvest’s been burnished by one white eye; the red world sharpened on a cold whetstone. Open your mouth to lick it clean, only to find dry cinnamon coating your teeth. II last night the moon turned the leaves to ten pence pieces. Pick them up, magpie-sly; tuck the change into one pocket. The coat’s threadbare (last winter wore it thin) and still yawning after summer’s sleep. Some silver coins slip through and tumble down gift back to the ground / its ore and bone. III Loneliness: chimney smoke swallowed by the hungry night; all those hours folded in the linen closet.

Catriona McLean