Is her body beautiful, like a shipwreck? Are her cheekbones bright as the horizon?
Is she curved like the tides? Are her lips like the pink seam of a conch-shell? And
are they lined with pearls? Are her eyes sunken treasure, framed with silver
fishtails? Is her breath wind through the palm trees? Has she footsteps
like water kissing goodbye? Is her laugh a blue-bubbled stream of oxygen?
If only beauty were the shadow-sunken shells of her breasts and hips,
her face a photograph of sea-lost souls, ribcage like rigging. Her mouth
a seaweed bud, sealed; eyes like rock-pools, lichen-touched below the lids.
Her breath often salty. I don’t remember her leaving. No. She cried like
the seagulls, silver bubbles were the last thing she saw, and when found,
she floated like an undiscovered island.
from This Summer
July 16th – Lydgate Park
we lie under the canopy,
the green light
the heat makes time slow
honey-drops in the park
strawberry sauce and the salt
sweat of my hands, tastes like
when I was young
always each summer the last
tangled in the crowns of small trees
the flowers are pink holes
in the fabric of the hour
walk home barefoot, over blue tarmac
that hardens the soles of our feet.
24th July – Stowe
faded goose-ghost wings
watch lost stars of satellites;
late-night eyes of cars.
frame the gold hill house
where four yellow pillars kiss
the eye of the night.
needles make sun-stopping
face of a sugar-moon.
25th July – Stowe Chapel
In the chapel we have found
a new grandfather god. We nest
like strange birds in the dark throat
of the organ, and sigh and sit
our minds in the comfort of its
base notes, tip our feathered
heads back and tune ourselves
to it. When we talk the throb of
its sonore makes our skulls fragile
and our voices strong.
I want to live under the arches
of its antique wings.
August 8th – Denbank Drive
We listen in silence
talking with the bass, our naked feet
trumpet on her knees,
an outsized silver charm
to match the dark bracelets
that lace her wrists
we drink the champagne
bought with Mahler’s 5th symphony
and squeeze a trio of harmonicas
from the corners of our mouths,
a funny sort of laughter
* * *
Walking home the street is tawny
with street lamps and the snug
cat’s eyes of houses
lapis lazuli the sky, still,
with deep sunk ripples in the
semi-precious stone of the evening
like the teeth of things that swim in far-off oceans
like pocketed promises