Song of the Duvet
Stop pretending, upright animal,
the groceries, the harbour lights,
the Labradors of commerce
don’t need you in the meeting;
the chip and pin inserts itself,
the carpark of the crematorium
fills and empties like a bowel,
irrespective; small birds administrate
their votives in a hedgerow;
they haven’t even noticed
you’ve been gone. So why not
someone else suffusing with workflow?
Today’s agenda will enter your face
like a bad dog dream if you let it.
Don’t let it. Mallow and bready let
breath be in the palm, as a prayer,
almost weightless in this warmest
horizontal coat, lie down the day already
dying faster than you are, the terms
of agreement softening, settled your
fog getting hot and vague as you forget
what day of the week you are
fine right here just now but thanks,
thanks for asking gently.
JACK UNDERWOOD is author of Happiness (Faber, 2015), A Year in the New Life (Faber, 2021) and Not Even This (Corsair, 2021). He co-presents and curates the Faber Poetry Podcast and is senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College.