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.
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.