Dominic Leonard

Dominic Leonard


Will you tell me what you are now?
Will you do this kindness to me?

Time goes by and I watch you
Watch it go, its darkness runs

Over us, over the wall. I stitched
Your living into the desk, propped

Up in the dark the first night
Of your death, wound the hands

The hands of you to the deep-groove
Down, the gear and valve and bowel

And bile of what could scarcely be
Got done in thinking: the ferocity

Of keeping constant, the weight
Of minor writing, everything I

Need to tell you. There had been time
To darn patch, seam, capitals

Weathered at the join where you
Were most finely fitted

Dispersing your capable pressures
But now not much, and you are

Not much either, which is
Not poetry. I would take

Your safety over beauty every
Time, but regardless child I cast

A little light on you

DOMINIC LEONARD’s writing can be found in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, Pain, the TLS and elsewhere. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2019, and the Oxford Poetry Prize in 2022. He teaches in London.