PRACTICING EMPTINESS AT CALAIS - Poem by Mandy Coe
'. . . the world would rather we didn't exist' Karim Durrani
Through shanty-towns of canvas and plastic
lorries queue. Cargo of the world
behind taught straps and bolted doors.
In dreams that stink of diesel,
tailgates tumble open,
loved ones inside beckoning, come, come.
This grey channel of sea is so narrow
one scar-faced boy shrugged off his leather jacket
saying that he would rather walk.
On flattened cardboard boxes
the schematics of airbrakes and exhausts
are mapped. Spaces measured, air holes, marked.
Emptiness must be mastered
So detection-dogs will pass,
tails wagging - carbon monoxide detectors
will read, all clear.
Those who name villages and cousins,
or talk in their sleep of soldiers and bombs
make the pine-tree air-fresheners swing.
In the stillness of motorway car parks,
they make St. Christopher catch the light.
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