Contracting space, a bleeding sun
Yellow yoke breaks
A hand smoothing down a stained sheet.
Light-filled air, fat as a scream.
The pirate kills the ogre.
School walls fall.
A secret wish in a secret place.
Policemen stand on blank street corners,
Preserved in the formaldehyde of memory:
Her careless smile,
An overheard phrase.
VI. Early Adulthood
A body stretching by the sea,
Eyes turn back to the boarded-up parade.
VII. Middle Age
Short nights, long days,
Croissants and coffee.
I can’t remember the name of that place,
But it was very nice.
VIII. Old Age
White eyes in a lilac room.
His lips look like plastic.
A hand smooths down the sheet.
We sit patiently, slightly bored.
This is a new, expanded version of a poem that appears in the collection, The Death of the Bird King. All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.