It’s like this.
A boat, steering a course between
Two rocky cliffs, a boat width apart.
Or someone, carrying plates, balancing
On a rope, strung between those cliffs.
Whilst feeling as if
Someone is sawing at the back of your neck,
A black dog scratching at the back door.
A claustrophobic hum, so close to your ears:
A personal swarm of bees, tied to your head.
A metalwork vice wound
Between your temples, melting one eye
Or bursting the other.
And yet looking fine. Tired, but fine.
The day stretches away – gradually
Narrowing strait, gradually
Until someone says something does something is something starts
An express train no stops ever on a figure of eight
Loop inside the head, and then another, parallel
In reverse velocity increasing
And you second guess them third fourth and find
Yourself on a different track descent already thinking
What they meant and why multiplying agenda the boat wedges
The cliffs engine screaming last threads of cable unwinding
Tipping forwards plates unzipping vice tightening dog
And there’s not enough time to think or be clear or unpack
There’s just the bull response behind the lips to no
Racked up behind it other bulls increasing in size ready to
At bewildered innocence caught in the headlights of
Already detonating the chest in slow motion ribs outlined
Scrabbling backward but falling bees angry and stinging now
Bulls tumble not charging but stumbling one after another
Than the last saw through last sinew no eyes the boat just
Looking like crockery through the waves
For hours. One moment last hours.
That’s how it feels.
That’s how it feels, today.