Stop the Press: a poem

I’m straddling a tube.

Blanket-resistant, my legs

feel newborn and frosted.

On our web there’s a scrum,

a swollen mess of cross-stitch,

a stranded, tentacled creature

with secret mouths

and twenty eyes.

My left hand’s deep down steel,

where fingers that raced time to lock

rest stiffly now in peace.

Rain, like Security, gave up

and the dark’s grown generous

as lightly it wraps us, fifty-one of us,

while we sing like Hardy villagers

at a harvest supper

of small and sentimental tragedies

scented with roses.

Empty, I savour happiness,

feel strong and sure

and numb with love.

On high from bold bamboo

the crows’ nests swing,

and from the trucks a playlist quips.

But this is serious,

is everything.

For just one day

the lies are stalled, and in their place

the truth can rise.

As fireworks splinter scarlet,

a grinding churns the air

and metal melts pungent through morning,

we lift it to the light.

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PROCESSING