by Carter Vance
artwork by Alexa Gaffaney
It takes clock paces for bearded barley stalk,
that way your lemon dress shade kisses
the pool hall veranda’s hinky hinge gates,
that way you animate spare evenings with
whiff of whiskey mill bottler’s breath.
As you do, by crying losses kept brief,
by Bakerloo Line’s furuncle-jutting presence,
swinging on empathetic crossed tourist maps,
it’s made so simple by prune of pen,
by heatstroke sickness in EastEnder passion.
The clocker’s pace is ten-fold reason’s,
ten-fold a leisure stretch desire,
ever quicker with the limey brine of
fervent freedom at twenty-five,
and thirty times middle age’s soft regret.
Cross-square stitched a penance salt lick:
there are some things Limerick girls can’t
tell you off-hand, but some way, by air,
they make the nights swallow smother,
it it’s all about you, and selfish spirits.
Might be all of emerald fantasia
something sketched by bloodline, recorded to tape,
but it tastes of flippant fire, tossing
amusements on pyre as one-two punch-up:
summer-holding skin, fiddling collegiate fingers.
In becoming, melded gold plate,
resume embellishment taken too far,
that makes something so resistant, so quickened
from saunter of early hours’ wax paper chip crumb
conundrum: the ever-beaten drum of heart.
Fortune leads: it steels worldly changing winds,
propellers in azure,
we take to slip these same old fleshes.
Powers in allegiance like last time we held
in arms and breath, by air glanced knees, elbows,
But taken by the hand