Aaah

Still too winter a night to be lingering but
off the track, beyond the shrubbery,

these two are struggling, in earnest,
tenderly, to get it up: their frail

near-globe of a papery fire balloon

lopsiding again and again
till they steady its saucer of pale

slack flame between them; wait,
lift it, help it, uncertainly, leave.

It’s a red glowing heart. Aah,

you could say. Or: there are shopfuls
of Valentine kitsch. We’re three

times their age, hearts as tough
as lorry tyres to have got us this far

though apt to trip and flutter – yours

with (the doctor looks up
from her stethoscope trance)

its murmur. Listen.
It says Steady now.

Take care.

for Zélie

I Am Those Clothes…

left on the beach, folded fastidiously,
the name inside absconded.

They ran tests, but I told them nothing.
For a couple of weeks I was news.

People phoned in with their sightings
and confessions. False,

to a man, believe me.
In the end

I stood up, brushed sand from my creases
and walked, and went on walking

wondering who I could take it to,
this new and salty lightness at the core.

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on info@thelondonmagazine.org. Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.
SUBSCRIBE