Post-Mortem of a Fallow Field

by | January 11, 2022

I dreamt of home last night.

Your eyes were green – a cut of lime

against the tongue – they startled me like birds start

at the sheep-herds bawling.       You had warned of something

mystic,             pearl chowders,          purple dusks –

you had said:              God writes in chemtrails.        Dewdrops are remembrance

of touch.                      We walked like lead to the field we planted

last Spring             and I said: You never speak

when I am dreaming.              We walked the next field ripe

with grief.         You left your coat in a puddle,            it was mopped up

by the breeze.                                     Why won’t you speak?               

You howled              and howled                    so silently,                   each vowel

coarse as wind            that makes the tree spines shiver.             We waited

for the crop to bear                    charred teeth                  from wilted barley.

You never speak to me.                        I dreamt

your hands were hard lightning that cracked the earth in yard-halves

like an egg.                 Speak to me.

I dreamt of                               clots of dahlias

frail roots upturned from mud

your smile                   lemony moonlight                    blood oranges             ruddy pulp

I felt your breath                      hot on my skin            lost within the wind –


I won’t call you a spectre:

you are too vivid.


At noon, the fever lifts like a veil.                    Salt tastes of embalmment.              You are

swimming in                              red water and

on the beach               I chew              sand                 into                 dust

and dust                      into light.               You leave

a palimpsest of footprints

from the estuary                      to the grave                             and still:

You never speak to me.

I’ll wake                                   and press an urchin to your sternum –

tuck a note

into the cavern of your chest.

Take me with you.            

The tide tugs

at the body,                                         claims the atrium

as its cage.

In the wreck

we’ll plant forget-me-nots.


I’ll dream

you do.


Words by Grace Lawrence. Artwork by Luca Thompson.