‘The garden’, below, is taken from Amy Key's second collection Isn't Forever, published this June by Bloodaxe Books.
I encountered a surface that was not safe to stand on.
It was between me and the garden.
The garden said take as much time as you need.
It said you don’t even have to tell me.
I volunteered, ‘my requirements for love are
a living thing that loves me but barely needs me at all.’
I was indoors, the garden was not listening.
Sound / abrasion / highly scratchable soul.
I considered standing on the surface of it all
(everything is reflected in the surface:
sky, my very needy beauty, cellular detritus,
the damp packet of the future) but I knew
the outcome was giving way. My mother had
recently told me I stayed until the bitter end once
before and it was a mistake. I visualised tight buds
of thoughts laid out like a pathway
but my self was in its interminable confinement.
‘I am taking up too much of my own life.’
I was shouting beyond the threshold.
The garden told me at last, you are
in the business of remembering. Attend to your dream.