Woken By Your Boiler

by Luke Otley

I’m pulled up and out to the noise
by the fist of my chest,
bed clothes like tangled sculptures
in wet cement,

I flick my ankle like a cat’s tail
in the navy room and sigh

at the two inches of place
that separate me from you;

my aga,
your back fired iron plate,
your flank the primary school heater
I used to dare to grip
with little kiddie fingers that burned a seashell pink.

You’ve always thrown out heat
no matter what season,
position or pattern we sleep in,

and sensing me now your face
rises like moon over countryside,

blind and made fearful by dream,
with the pinched look of a baby abandoned,
reproachful and impatient for answers.

“It’s just the boiler” I whisper,
words unlikely you’ll remember.