We drove west | first past the woods, then past the farms | then past the churches | then the malls | then we came to the shipyards | last of all | but there were no ships | Your bare shoulders | smelled of lime and vanilla | we thought we were free | or at least | that’s what they’d told us | We scrubbed ourselves clean | and threw away the guns | Soon, we wouldn’t matter | Then there were ships, and we were happy

Frank asked What’s your poison? | He thought he was in a film | he wasn’t | alone | This was why they had built the roads | and come to a new arrangement | with horizons | Too tired, perhaps too wise | to make a sacrifice | of either or both of us | you slipped into the shower | Those lonely farms, lit in the dark distance | the calm green cyphers of the fields | of the Midwest or East Anglia | stretching for miles across the plains | no one ever came back | but every one of them | thought they’d return | it is | an error we are all | destined to make | is it even | an error? | Once it was done, we chose exile | we weren’t philosophers | we didn’t | linger on such things | What was the point? | Then he really was | in a film | Then he really was | alone


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, June 2016)