Suppose that yesterday
the face you most want to see beside you
turned up all over the papers.
Just, say, a bit of it, smile and eyes
throwing out frontpage, over the mast-head logo,
that lisp of a look that curls your heart
to bits. You’d be jolted, wouldn’t you?
All day he’s lying doggo
on doorsteps, careening through the Tube.
Why are copies of the bloody thing still hanging about
imbued with the swamp fluorescence
of late-night Safeways, next to Esquire?
The headline could have been ‘‘world war”
or “major rift with Mars”
for all you saw. But today
they’re throwing him away. Deadwood. Lumber
for recycling. He can come to you now.
File him sixty-nine times over if you like -
or three, best number for sudden gift: see under
Stravinsky’s humming birds
who lit on him in exile. “They settle
on my hand. Axtlel. Celesto. Java.”
From Magma No. 10, Summer 1997