Now – Stuart Cooke

This is the place: a park, a cleared space, cooling swathes of light.
             In the distance: an airport’s absurdity,
             arguments of steel, flocks of fruit bats swarming
             in panic across an afternoon sky.
Present dribbles, slender and taught, heart line,
             memory’s still and lake dank,
             crusting, coagulating,
             oozing like panic across an afternoon sky.


The two places and the love between them are dissolving.

The delicate shells of dates and their highways are dissolving.

Thin bones threading through wing are dissolving.


I am a faint scar on the lip of a woman.


I am a colour spread evenly across the frame of an open window.


I am the flood through a valley after rain.


The land is cool, remote.
The land is cool, remote.

This is the place: a cleared space…
             the magpies’ beaks are splitting
             the line between flesh
             and its voice.


The sun trips and spills across the grass:
             helpless before space,
             her cells are drying out
             in a leaf’s yellowing tissue.


The land is rising in steamy trunks.
The land is freezing into stars, ice-white, tear glint.


We are beneath the trees, embraced
              by figs’ fat roots.


We are watching the sky fall from us,
              leaving us with ourselves.