Look at the Clouds

by Caleb Klaces

I need to change the sheets on my bed.

They are thicker, less soft, than they were.

I need to brush my hair and go for a walk,

and I need to put the plastic bag in the bin to a recycling place,

and I need to put ample milk on my breakfast, staring at it and laughing at it, listening

to Radio 4, or a loud CD.

I need to set my alarm cock so that I can enjoy the squirming, uncomfortable

morning sleep for longer startled minutes, and then droop back, pretending it’s all a

dream, not just bits,

and I could buy a new belt and keep my trousers high, or a new pair of

socks or braces. Dad doesn’t wear braces. They hurt his shoulders, make him feel the weight

of the Earth like the muscled, tortured Greek man who couldn’t put it down.

I can’t put his name down.


I need to change the sheets on my bed, put some fabric softener in the
wash Mum

always does. What a life. I could do a bobble hat at a football match,

I could light a cigarette and choke until I proved it was real, I could laugh.

I need to laugh,

I need to put on women’s clothes and dance around, or I could want to, I could.

If there are planets enough, I need a planet,

and if it were Wednesday I could want to lie down on the grass and look at the clouds,

I might need to.


And, speaking of need,

the breakfast without it, and the recycled bags, or planets, or sky

– if sky could be sold to a charity shop –

would be the same, or similar, and my sheets, like cigarettes, would not be

real, without this choice of words, my choice.

The only choice.


I need to do something about my hair I look silly.