C-90

I ask her, Alexa,
for Prefab Sprout,
as I sip my coffee,
dipping in a playlist
first small-written
on C-90 inserts,
and turned to ten
on an Aiwa stereo,
then sounding
less compressed,
back then,
in those simpler sips.

Bonfires

They tripped the village
with explosions overhead,
tipped hip flasks, brimming,
and they smoked cigarettes:
Like wayward teenagers,
but with a greater rage,
the sisters from Sussex
resisted middle age.
She said: ‘There is one life,
but a single span!’
So they sucked on spirit
and exploded again.

Butterfly

I watched a butterfly die
after I had lifted it from
the laid-up timber store
where it had hid itself
from the last of summer,
four beats of its wings,
and then pinned still
by time’s invisible spike.

Remember

We eulogise the dead,
but not the living;
we recall past victims,
but not the suffering;
we celebrate history,
but not the present;
we are weighted by
a tradition of ignorance.

Evening Prayers

Across passing minutes
his foul envy simmered,
with another’s wide mouth
taking her down,

reducing the soft layers
(those he had watched,
so dutifully added),
a removal of fashions;

putting bare hands on,
lifting her to their God:
A few hours gone
of her agreed absence,
and he set to bed to weep.