Under The Answering Sky

By Denise Riley, b.1948, England.

I can manage being alone,
can pace out convivial hope
across my managing ground.
Someone might call, later.

What do the dead make of us
that we’d flay ourselves trying
to hear them though they may
sigh at such close loneliness.

I would catch, not my echo,
but their guarantee that this
bright flat blue is a mouth
of the world speaking back.

There is no depth to that blue.
It won’t ‘bring the principle
of darkness with it’, but hums
in repose, as radiant static.