Owen Sheers
On Going
i.m. Jean Sheers

There were instruments, as there always are,
to measure, record and monitor,
windows into the soul's temperature.
But you were disconnected from these

and lay instead an ancient child
fragile on your side,
your breath working at the skin of your cheek
like a blustery wind at a blind.

There was only one measurement
I needed anyway, which you gave,
triggered by the connection of my kiss
against your paper temple

and registered in the flicker open of your eyes,
in their half-second of recorded understanding
before they disengaged and you slipped back
into the sleep of their slow-closing.