Two gods in Middlesex Street, the he the she
cruised for fruit and clothes in the mortal season;
he bent forward pointing to their station underground.
She at ease leant back as if to say - Come on look,
you know you want to fuck me; her head a bird in flight,
his, a ball of string sent into scribble and sinews.
Come on, look at my St. Tropez skin, my colour
my thighs floating apart, my fresh genius waiting.
It's OK Mr Red Column relax, beyond the arts of Corinth
the arches sweetly frame me, the pediments lift me up.
There's a simplicity to gods passing in the street,
their hunger and their hesitation in a wash of colour.
It changes nothing in the catalogue of ideal beauty,
said the he the she in Middlesex Street incendiary on the air.
It was a fragment from Troy from Logue from Dave, it was
a burnt roof tile or a broken plaque frisbeed through time, I don't know;
a tile from a toppled tower of Ilium and enough of a message,
even the words bled into the clay, that was the art of it.
The bloody message fell from up there, zinging like a bird,
and ripped a ragged hole in the ambrosial picnic of the sky,
for our exultation in slaughter and reflective thought – like gods.
These trenches indicate the realignment of a subduction zone,
running from the Aegean around the whole world from the beginning;
we will plough the fields with your bones, fill the Scamander with your guts,
for trade routes, for oil, for influence, for those special minerals and metals.
Did you think after Yemen, Syria, Iraq, things would ever be better than this?
Put your sandaled foot in this antique starting block, the race is never done;
run straight for the Scaen Gate over the quagmire viscera of your comrades.
The girl’s transformation was everything, the spring in her step
greening the high meadows of the Taygetos, so that the flood
of grasses and vetch assumed an order of the miraculous.
I would hold finger and thumb to the tendon of her unmarked ankle,
feel its tensile charge, a pulse wired to the world, a boundless promise,
a girl who stirred the air and made men look back in her wake.
In Thalames it was just gossip, dry tongues scraped cicada tunes;
she with prediction on her lips mouthing the voice of the well
lisping a first language of pure gesture at ease with itself.
It ended badly; five black posts above the submarine entrance of the cave,
she, a near transparent body flickering against claustrophobic night,
limbs like pale fire weaving in and out, a twist of cloth from the loom.
He in the taverna, scratching a banjo, telling stories no-one believed, the song,
dust in his mouth – when he sang the transformation of the girl was everything.