I clocked in
and the cogs began to turn.
A slippery fish, I was slid
along a grey conveyer belt:
to a throng
of wet and glittering forms.
skinned me of my chlorine uniform;
inspected by hungry, eel-like tongues.
until each shift is done.
the coffee-shop, dead on midday,–
in the agenda
of commerce and trade.
bright shocks of toothsome sun
turn, in time,
to downy clocks, by breaths of air unspun
daylight is a foreign currency.
exiled to an isle of cotton-silk,
you spend it under unfamiliar sheets.
blankets billow round you like a womb
(rock you to a soft, synthetic swoon).
tidal, you rise,–
reborn beneath the moon.
we are only at our best in retrospect
in the beginning
was the word.
a mute note:
it ascended the throat
(that choked-up aisle)
to the mouth, baptised
in a pulpit of spit and enamel.
syllables strained at the pews of the teeth,–
congregating in phrases and aching to speak.
the tongue is an altar.
it alters my sermon-song.
my words dissolve
before i have begun
i bloom through this cerebral fruit,–
delicious; ripe; alive
A gullet or a guillotine?
Was I nestled, lulled, in a crooning throat
or snared by the blades of a beak?
Perched near my ear
a caw, a cry,
a croak which splutters
coarse and gravel-dry:
‘Perhaps it was both, my dear.’
In epidermal dreams I still condone
the rummage; the ravage;
the scimitar-split of my trunk so wide,–
Wide as an avian eye.
It pecks past my bones like an off-white xylophone,
plucking my entrails like strings.