Anyone here had a go at themselves
for a laugh? Anyone opened their wrists
with a blade in the bath? Those in the dark
at the back, listen hard. Those at the front
I am very bothered when I think
of the bad things I have done in my life.
Not least that time in the chemistry lab
when I held a pair of scissors by the blades
And if it snowed and snow covered the drive
he took a spade and tossed it to one side.
And always tucked his daughter up at night
And slippered her the one time that she lied.
Five pounds fifty in change, exactly,
a library card on its date of expiry.
A postcard stamped,
I have not bummed across America
with only a dollar to spare, one pair
of busted Levi's and a bowie knife.
I have lived with thieves in Manchester.
We hunted, swept the planet pole to pole
to capture a glimpse of that rare species.
Through a thermal lens we spotted a shoal,
Just how it came to rest where it rested,
miles out, miles from the last farmhouse even,
was a fair question. Dropped by hurricane
or aeroplane perhaps for some reason,
Here on the Hard, you're welcome to pull up and stay;
there's a flat fee of a quid for parking all day.
And wandering over the dunes, who wouldn't die
I was pegging out your lime-green dress;
you were hoping the last of the sun
might sip the last few beads of drip-dry water
from its lime-green hem.
The sun comes like a head
through last night's turtleneck.
A pigeon in the yard turns tail
and offers me a card. Any card.