these things have collected me –
endless books, unworn shoes, pots

I split my self between them –
fingers holding open pages,
a close eye kept on the pot

one day I’ll evict them
though maybe not quite all –
save perhaps a favorite

but be otherwise alone and choate
with the simplicity of walls

© Sarah Whiteley


the departed


your departure has the weight of ash

no longer carrying your fate,
I return to my old shape

days hold their same complexities
but night has become startlingly simple –

rucked sheets, wooden bed-frame –
there’s no need to believe in anything else

how is it that you ever fit
inside these walls? inside this time?

I was never a promise –
my hands, my breasts, my breathing –

are sovereign and whole

© Sarah Whiteley