The Amber Light

I was caught staring at the amber light –
the pause – the stop – the pushed brake
before the collisionbefore the crush
of border patrols upon the quick-shift

of dream-skinned people in frail boats –
none suited to such a rolling exodus –
all ferried by the free-traders of prayers –
they place a high price on such reveries

And now I can feel the white-grinding
of ice masses – of quickened melts –
of glaciers’ hurried abrasions on hills –
that accelerated ablation of fixtures

We will become the low-down migrants
without any possessions – of land or time –
as the seas rise to match the price-per-head
of our negligence – then my children will cry

and they will look at me – my poor pledges –
and try not to believe that I too plundered –
that their mother stole – the last lit chances –
to stop the incited rise of sea levels and lies

Conquest Hospital

Robert Richard Rollins –
I was born nineteen thirty-four
struggled with the name –
El-dwabe

He worried out loud
that he’d forget
the surgeon’s
Egyptian-sounding name

As he was wheeled –
backwards for ease
he again apologised
so profusely to the nurse

for his failure to recall
I forget names –
the consultant …
El-dwabe