Concrete Butterflies

By | 15 September 2022

We have broken our oars and sharpened them into
paring knives. You remember the desert way the wind
sucked colour from the foothills, put a fluorescent eye
in the heart of the firmament. You
remember January cigarettes and January
porridge, your belly in the ocean,
how you made
lights in the heavens, augured beneath
the august sky a chord sequence and
wrote it on your palm with mud.
In mirrors, sunglasses, and sandcastles the
braying of a boar, a wildebeest, a
typewriter and a computer in a tavern,
licking port wine from their lips,
a January cigarette. Your belly
in the concert-hall.
Songs and dances in the pages of memory,
a guitar strung about your breast,
a pen, an amplifier stuck in your ear.
People in cars and on bicycles in the next room,
mothers, goose-farmers, toecutters, pneumoniacs.
Eating bananas, fried rice, January porridge,
your belly in a supermarket. Ears
living in trees, listening to telluric currents
and the new radio. Your belly on a
You remember drinking crystals and coffee-beans,
two kangaroos and a hookah, stealing
a grape, a lanyard,
unclipping paper in a dream.
West of the waterways the wild city at night
congested with salads, cider, and prophylactics.
Your belly in the newspaper, your
voice becomes an antenna.
You are a mile and a league, a
pedestrian, a composer, a lunatic,
a thistle, a compost-heap, a ballroom,
a watchdog, a liturgy, a city-street,
a caldera, a
cup of soup when the wind and the steam
and the baritone voice of the
second generation are singing in gay harmony
and the dead are watching your belly
through a looking-glass.
We have broken our oars and sharpened them into
batons, and you are playing your heart,
playing your heart like kettle-drums,
playing out your life and
killing the clown.

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