How quickly it comes to meet you.
Words rolled out like terrible carpet
cut with scuffs from boot heels,
varnished once, the edges clotted with hair.
To know the floor, its hard body.
Seeing. Crawling along it.
The street stands on its head, sings a song
not unlike a dirge and the sea back home
fills rock pools for the billionth time.
What strange flavour on the wind
bringing news of a thousand atomic
shifts, columns giving way under
the weight of it. Great boulders
breaking loose from the hill, and the birds’
little broken wings, a dolphin wrapped
in fine blue net. One weight lifts,
the other is counterbalanced.
To know the floor, its indifference
quite charming, quietly moving.
A lot can end on the edge of a bed.
Then, the air mattress, the floor
with its cold shoulder, hands reaching out.
Mum, look at the shape of the place.
How could we know such things
could become ornamental?
What bends in the landscape,
what unanswerable questions.
To know the floor. There never
was a better teacher.
Where small mercies send the eyes
running for curtain, where the heart leans
back in awe. Oh God, is this the new place?
It’s quite bright. We should paint the walls
a different colour.
—Published 12th of May 2020
About David Ross Linklater
David Ross Linklater is a poet from Balintore, Easter Ross. His pamphlet Black Box is published with Speculative Books. His work has appeared in Gutter, Glasgow Review of Books and DMQ Review, amongst others. He lives and writes in Glasgow. Twitter: @DavidRossLinkla