Myself and Rumur in the linguist’s house
tend the cat. She grows long hair he combs.
He says he sometimes cries while he combs
and though I haven’t seen it, I believe it.
The locks all stick: ‘you have to feel them.’
When I’m up till three the ancient dial
of the receiver also glows, tired and pale
as a streak of plankton. The classical station
must be left on, always, lower
than a murmur. It calms Sylvie,
who sleeps all day on the single speaker,
her back to the window,
her dim eyes
shining in perpetual surprise.