David Howard
On The Eighth Day
another pilot down (Tori Amos)

In the desert she bore
water. Her manicured hands remembered

mine were beautiful in engine oil.

Every eighth day she came: seven days of silence
when all I possessed were memories.

I’d hold my breath to listen better. In the end

no star is worth losing
a few hours sleep to see: the rescuing

dawn was more real than my solitude

in a land of mirages. Sand
swallowed what little imagination I had

left. Her aeroplane was only ever going
to circle