Parin tends a garden owned by no one -
bushes growing stunted in the red brick dark
between two terraces; old wooden gates
that only he opens; a path from street to street
never used and usually never seen.
With no alternative and no one to stop him,
he plants parts of his own mind in the dry soil
along with the shrubs and the ivy:
blue clouds blown across a cold red sunset
as he crested the hill at Roundhay Park on his bike;
the cold air and the noise the fox made when Sajid
killed it behind the school all those years ago;
the way the motorway noise never ended at night,
eventually drove the cat insane and made her shit
all over the house, until Dad wrung her neck in a rage.
Parin had buried her in the soft dirt at the edge of the park,
because their garden was only glass and concrete.
The soil is bad in the council garden, but he's making it better.
Funny idea someone had, he thinks, paying him a salary
to remake memories, in this dark little space between lives.
This is original work