Tag Archives: Sloth

Gaia Holmes’s ‘Sloth’

Gaia Holmes
And it comes to me
as we drive through moors
clotted with burnt, black heather,
where the air smells of sulphur and honey.
Inland, away from you
the sky is a finger painting:
stale streaks of dark clouds daubed
above the slated roof tops.
You have to learn to register these things:
the sweet and the sour
moments of life,
each dead pheasant you pass
fluttering like a ballgown
in the motorway breeze,
each blurred wasp you see
pulped against the windscreen:
the frail mortality of colour.
Remember – this is the way you breathe,
like a symphony of echo
trapped inside a shell.
On days like this
there are certain things that you recall:
the clinging breeze loaded with salt,
dead fish rotting on the tide line,
the way that the edges of the land
blurred and spread
and sunk into the sea.
Remember that day when we woke
because the sun beams nudged us
out of our sticky nest of sloth.
Our ambition became sobriety.
We binned empty wine bottles
and sour milk,
scoured lust off the dishes,
sat out in the garden,
and waited for our hearts to dry.