‘Puts Me to Work’ echoes through the house,
Cate Le Bon’s voice bouncing off the walls.
I can almost see it, storming down the hallway,
Barging out of the bathroom.
This floor is fucking freezing.
I can see my reflection in the glossy wood;
A circle of condensation that grows and shrinks
As I breathe in and out.
‘But I know that you’re there,
‘cause you’re making it hurt.’
Entire galaxies are swirling in the shaft of setting sunlight
Streaming through the broken blinds
At right angles, sharp and sudden.
Solar systems shift and spiral,
Time I take a breath.
A lake is forming by my chin.
I wonder if it is clear and wet
Or white with froth and paste
I stop wondering when the shivering becomes me.
‘It puts me to work . . . puts me to work.
It puts me to work . . . it puts me to work.’
The song has been repeating for an hour now.
I used to really like the end.
Something like forty-five-minutes-ago.
I wonder if the battery will die soon.
I do not wonder if I will die soon.
Preoccupied with galaxies and spirals and the little spot of condensation
Forming and unforming as I breathe.
With the frozen lake I feel cold enough to be skating across
In these baggy shorts and this tattered t-shirt
From a Nirvana show last century.
The battery doesn’t die, and Cate Le Bon comes racing around the house again.
I close my eyes and sigh.