/ /

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.