Press

Indeed you miss the point, my friend. It does
stand stubbornly guarding
mile after mile of soft and useless dust

and wind out of the north with a low whine
and the lying mouth of the news—
the bitch!—the words and weather both are cutting.

Press of the floor coming up through you and
gull-cries, the all-around
dawn spills its ghostly water.

Dingle-dong, the dead bells go,
are now here with you, is this clear?
Trashing the alligator man-trap handbags.

Dominating every harbour.
You know people there. Their faces are photographs;
and a tense, musty, unignorable silence.

Who knows the place the poster advertises?
White bones tumble from it;
hand paws the wall to reach the chilly switch.

Descending the map of damp
are enormous messages, a looming mastery—
and a hundred islands.

What light trapped in a clenched sky
to learn the language of what’s done and said
when there is so much wind?

The congregation never imagined,
the room in sudden stasis—
the wing of a gust.

The jukebox music takes you back;
braver than lipstick,
its threads the colour of cantaloupe and cherry.