By Denise Riley
I try to find you, yet you are not here.
I’ve studied absence, fought to fill it in –
courage comes easier with a grasp of why.
A secret’s camouflaged when unconcealed.
I chose to not see/saw the thing too near?
Absence turns thicker, muscled by its strain.
A moon in daylight, whitest blue on blue,
surprises briefly, to appear surreal
until it slips to rights. I couldn’t spot
the obvious – obviam, in the way; plain
sight goes blind through chasing clarity.
I looked for you, so couldn’t see you gone.
I sensed your not-there in its burning life.
I listened out to feel its silence beat.
It does not speak with any human mouth.
From Denise Riley's Say Something Back, which has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the T. S. Eliot Prize and. most recently, the Costa Poetry Award.
Lyric, intimate, acidly witty, unflinchingly brave, Say Something Back is a deeply touching document of grieving and loss by one of our finest poets.
'A moving reminder that she's one of the best poets around' - Andrew Motion, The Guardian
You can read more about Say Something Back and the other collections shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Poetry Award, including Kate Tempest's Let Them Eat Chaos here.
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