Disembarking, you sling the fish overshoulder as sun lodged on its scales crazes into silver ministrations. This day a mouth; the day after, what? I need someone to get drunk with you say. We sit in a café eating fries from a cone of waxed paper. The fish in a chair beside us. Day hazed and ravenous. Your cells have begun their slow unraveling, though we do not yet know it. On our table, envelopes stand at attention: gaping jaws. In the next moment, glasses leap from the shelves. Buildings loom indecent as the machine tears holes, renders whole rooms visible. And what descends amid the snapping? The shuffling off of skins? The past claps its shutter closed behind us. I take the long way home, heels tapping.
Around and around the common, runners are looping. They’re i-plugged and inwards, enslaved by the whole mudthumping repetitive shenanigans. In the playground, children unwrap the morning. Still unsullied, they’re exhilarated by green. They don’t yet know that spring’s a bully, browbeating the earth into washing its hands of the wrongs done under the influence of frost. The crows on the fence are weary of the boring predictable resurgence of the year. They watch as a double-decker sidles up to the bus stop. It’s earthlogged and embittered, drawn by the pull of the flightpath. Up there the geese are stacked like planes, the planes lined up like resolutions. And still the runners keep on coming, thudding out of Lambeth and heading for the Wandsworth daffodils.
Susannah Hart the poems