Sunday, 11 October 2009

By a mousing owl hawked at

Back to the wall, her eyes looking right into mine
and suddenly this party isn’t funny anymore.
Suddenly I’m something small, cringing
back, seven millimetre heart going
five-hundred times a minute, and she’s
something far above, beating the air
and preparing to fall.

She doesn’t know that this
is how I feel, doesn’t know that, now,
I would surrender anything, money,
my passport, my manuscript pages,
would promise to take the late train,
set up in a different city, never set foot
in this one again, if she would only
look away and let me drift outside the door.

So she keeps looking.

After a few of those seconds which adrenaline
turns into decades, I hear you, unaware of this drama,
announce the interval is over, and tell us it is time
to take our seats. Your voice is the sudden fog,
the changing wind which gives this mouse an out.

I have never, in my life, felt quite as grateful
for half-an-hour of poems as I feel now.

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