Between Cold Sheets

I'm up in the attic fiddling around
with the junction box,
feeling the itch of glass fibre.

My brittle-boned wife shrank and withered
soon after we wed.
We're too sad to be together

in these mirror-streaked mornings,
remembering toothpaste and lies.
I call down--she doesn't reply,

but the lights go again,
and her cry is a foghorn.
She is old

and the heather grows thick and woody.
Soon we must burn.
The sea is black with old ships:

she tells me these are
the motes in my eye,
she says we must go out

and gather together,
I don't recall what or why,
but later, down by the railway line

I think of her sister,
drinking two bottles a night,
loving and laughing between cold sheets.