So sad. The sun stops giving the horizon head,
and rises . . . What a place to raise children. Or the dead.
Once risen they’ll remark on time’s grains of digital sand.
Querulously. But for now let such complaints be banned
–he said, imperiously. But seriously. For now take my fingers for torsos,
those of corpses trampled by steeple-chasing horses
and needing to be washed, cradled. For they’re unable
to leave you thus uncoupled by the bedside table
beside the bed, unmade: they’ve read in your palm a mass
grave, its lifeline built on a fault line; a maze
in a killing field. How brave we are! How brave!
How saved! I pour my grave into your grave.
Any more equal and we’d be a minus.
Any sort of sequel would be an unwanted kindness.
Let us not seize the day by which we’ll soon enough
be seized; let us forget how to breathe;
let us be motionless in our emotional urgency.
Let’s not yet see, as if coming around mid-surgery,
the parting-poem blur between our eyes like a scalpel,
feel its downward drag like the tree in the apple,
or have it tip off the tips of our tongues like the nipple
towards which, fingers locked, we might appear to grapple
as we pray to the trickster Christ of the Infancy Gospel.
This clasp is the chapel. These digits the steeple-chasing people.
Adam Crothers was born in Belfast in 1984, and lives in Cambridge. He is the author of Several Deer (Carcanet, 2016) and an editor for the online magazine The Literateur. You can find him on Twitter: @adamcrothers.