All Things Scarlet
Coming down with something’s case,
fever flush of card suits taken
too literal, whiskey-faced haggling
with diner shop case radio dials,
with dusty countertop linoleum for
a place to rest comforted hands;
I am no longer in darkened
rooms with chalk sketches,
with star charts searching June
skies for dusk.
The road polishes, near-reflecting black
of graceful shadowing leaping grandly
from pulpit page to dreaming ink,
it carves a winding gold river band,
a miner’s lung of bespoke ring fingers
from the sketch chart physician’s
notes we made of each other
(flopping haircut, skin strawberry milk shade).
Whirring, fan clatter cuts speech,
to hung ribbon strings from ceiling,
to adolescent party paper chains,
shedding their old tones for
something stronger played:
electric, with feeling.
From Primrose Hill
As you turn back in sepia,
Astair-Rodgers light on
Southwark station bends, on
illuminating post-war tenement
brick ways, there isn’t something
more to say,
something more to pause upon.
As you look out on many-wandered
fields, plundered creation
of peace crowns, or scepter
surrenders, as they link in
70s raincoat logic, and
spill full with unsent post,
you aren’t waiting again.
As you draw curtains from
clanging Friday’s air, humid
hanging with pressed lips
of tube driver’s strike talk,
there could still have been
some roiling wave of regret,
for passing taillights of noonhour.
Glory of ember fades,
imperial medals’ twinkling
takes on tea mug tones,
rusty bonnet cap kind
of rushing through cedar
sap places in daydream.
The baking blackness,
electric separation, finding
same holiday greeting card
lines no matter placing truth,
a blistered confession to be made,
of axel wobble sentiments.
Scale of self-help books,
making of wartime lives,
draws rough, approximate, map
of the last time we stood
in subway station tile,
or took to mispronounced names.
Nerves of not-so-young not-quite-lovers
sing still with nicotine twitch,
so signpost obvious in early evening.