By David Wheatley

I want to feel it again: what I felt
when I woke once standing in the kitchen
after walking downstairs in my sleep.
The school bags had all been lined up
and the lunches packed in clingfilm
by the fridge, gurgling to itself,
but this was hardly the kitchen
of the evening before, the unusual shape
in the corner that was a brush then
could hardly be the brush that we used
for sweeping the tiles, and the goldfish
rubbing its nose on the glass of its bowl,
were I to hazard a finger, could
hardly but have developed a taste
for flesh, or so I thought.
I moved with the new-found awkwardness
of a woken sleepwalker across the floor
and towards the stairs and the more familiar
strangeness of dreams, but looked back
once to see it again: the kitchen
like a charcoal drawing, the table
set for my absence, this new place
I had seen for the first time
stripping of meaning the place that I knew
without a word or a struggle, threatening
only that it might become habitable.

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