by Beth Jellicoe

You kept a diary, wrote subliminal
messages to your future self, in the back pages.
A cloud crossed the window and suddenly
your room was dark and curved on itself,
like a wave frozen before it can fall,

the waves never fall on your beach.
And you will never be hungry.
And the rubbish will never get taken out.
And you don’t have to worry about where
to throw that rolled-up paper,
or ever completing your diary.
Your world is forever a spring morning
with a cold breeze, and the radio unspooling
its tragedies, while seagulls mew
in the gardens. Catastrophes
unfurl. You live wrapped up in a word.
A word that could crush you, and is sleeping.

And the teevee reels you repeats from a world
before computers, when old people had war stories,
and sexy witches flicked their eyelashes,
and we were still at war with Eastasia.

And every four years, a new government:
every seven years, a new you,
with the same fears. How the pattern of cells
in your blind body somehow matters more
than their charts and their plans,
their pointed words, abstracted declarations,
their names rearranged in the newspapers.

Who said it matters more? You or I or God?
I do not think God
needs to know about this.