Our lives were cheap in Angola:
no demand on the black market,
nor any stock exchange to trade them on.
We hoarded those lives in unsafe homes
or offered them to the whim of dubious gods:
the bottle, the motor car, the gun, the sea, or
more capricious still, the Italian Embassy lift.
On a blazing humid February afternoon,
six loose friends stacked a precious cargo,
three wooden crates, packed with seventy-six
full bottles of fine Angolan beer,
arranged our bodies round it
as best we could, pressed and rose
beyond the floor we’d wanted, stopped, ...