FACING A MIRROR
You walk into an ordinary room
catch sight of another
where the wind is flat
letters turn back and
books start at their endings
You face both ways
across your own skin
you see windows
in the wet of your eyeballs
thin blood tributaries
one figure in each black pond
You ask yourself
how you might pass through
a four millimetre
thickness of glass
where half of eternity hangs
in a sheet of silver
and your double vibrates
when you cry or sing
where you will both vanish
if you turn out the light
snapback into being
if you switch it back on
And then you remember
the boy in the story
who drank his reflection
Bramble-tongued, beaks like scissors
their blind thickets stinking of fox
these are the same night birds
that sang the child you were to sleep.
Beetles rummaging in the brainpan
pipistrelles all but out of earshot
might be pinpointed, identified
placed on a scale from one to five.
No audiologist though
however kind or well equipped
could measure or detect
this bubbling of faraway throats.
But these unrecorded species are
still singing you towards the dark
through long unreachable summers
and the swift afternoons of winter.
A SAINT SETS OUT FOR A STAR
When the world is not round
the sky is sea, the sea is sky.
When your habitation is an island
no bigger than a sandal or a hand
it hardly makes a difference
if it’s a whale after all.
And when the wind can drown you
water light and air become one tide.
That tide goes out, stars appear
near enough to touch.
You could still be out there
riding on the pulse and hiss
spinning through the crash and dazzle
in a hide and willow basket.
You’ll be needing strong arms though
to reach the evening star.
Dominic Fisher has been widely published in magazines and his poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio. In 2018 he was the winner of the Bristol Poetry Prize, and his collection The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead was published by The Blue Nib in March 2019.