let go of your handsome wings and flitter
waist-high to other men's failures
the chair to rest in is bathed in the light
of another dawn
I think me between those shores
one draped in the skin of another
the privacy of the living the dead and the only imagined

the failure of the first to play the game
he makes a clever landing
before the hands that drop him close
and then leaps down from the ground
letting the land rise up behind him
a victory though they kill him twice
his smiling head on seven sticks
we have postcards of all your seats of power
your domes to burn
even illiterates
could interchange these parts

shine you out serene
we will string you along
gambling with your fists
super-sharp you sit on nothing
backed by nothing
you can stare it out forever
the stage is always yours
sit you in a circle and burn your feet
cyan magenta yellow
bled by sunshine
wiped-out till only the rules remain

I crouch I catch I caress
once upon a time a place
few people and many trees
(I the bombsight
I the bomb bay
I the release and everything else)
the intentional gaze
the empty banners
the sky so blue where no light reaches
on the line
a frame that will not fit
we are blue too
just pasted in
but now we have your number
to hide us from your curious eyes

the writing all along the road
is it up or down
the whole town turns inside its egg
in steady arcs
the coating on our eyes a comedy of errors
filter the ribbons that bind us
is this the place where the east ends
without windows
dying a presence more present than the quick
the flight from form that brings you down to earth
pain just a normal part of living
pick up the ball and run
first the smile and then the hinterland
your children's children
and their children's children
conjuring cinders and skulls
and bones in empty places
climbing fences to watch the centre fall
your regrets too late and backwards

coming to something beautiful
I stop there
to screw down my eyes
in a flood of light
from my little glass house
I see
one man stand inside another
do people lie

he who captures the land
will have lost the sky
all the craters filled with sunny lakes
the corpse is even smaller than the child
the houses smaller still
you sit in the lap of a dead man
his hand brushing your side
where there is no water
your formulas are obsolete

charm me in daylight and I'll fall in bits
along your chamber
condensing darkly into droplets
tiny but visible
we arise to star in our own deaths
keep you out and keep you in
with a wall of perfect bones
splice you right down to the helix

in total darkness
put common salt in water
through shuttered eyes
a bridge
I'll send you snapshots down from heaven
turn you night sky not seen by humans
the primary target is everywhere

already a master of begging
he’ll hold his breath as long as it takes
while beneath your feet
his ponderous weight will twist the wrench
this is light eclipsed
tethered from inside the sky
you wish you too could fall
all a matter of force and
the law that determines
the attraction between two bodies
climbing till the sky turns black
do you have an art
to paint away our footsteps

go on I did not kill you quite
hang me just half-way
across your street
mask me
I'll sit there neatly blurred in death
where you walk on the floor
I walk on the ceiling
looking down on the pictures
of how I jumped from an artificial hill
and flew
my relation to the seraphs
a trick of light
igniting the combustion of each sleeping child

       © Patricia Farrell 2004