Horses and rider diving through the hoop of fire
without charring a cell, the spangled girl
cycling on the high wire, the stern face
which governs tigers with a whisper of a whip,
Two old fishermen squat on the beach
looking outward at dusk.
Behind them the din of the harbour,
A fisherman leans on an old stone bridge,
flattened by the sun behind him
to two dark dimensions. The paths
on either bank are lost in nettles.
Rows of headstones jostle for air.
The dead are too many:
Copton and Neville, Boulton, Letchley,
the village breathing through the same names
The doctor measures millilitres into his syringe,
puts all your lights out and packs his bag.
'Should be all right, ' he says at the door,
and 'God bless.'