Jeff Clark



Things are not as we would have them be.
The moon is not a yellow sow
hung from a meat hook

on a drab shed wall: it is a moon.
Ashes do nothing
while we sleep: they are trees.

Satellites are not boys circling the lowback chairs
and record heaps of their drunken masters: they are machines.
The broad-hipped distended form stepping in the foam

is not someone going to wet her legs
but no-one, Phantom without live taxies.
She thinks, Ships in the night are cruel ships.

Even if her left ear aimed at the brack
even if the claps and peeling lulled
she would not hear the canvas smack

there would be no din in the hull
no luminations in the masts:
tonight the moon soils its pallet

and what will emerge in the light by my bedside but No-one,
her gown ratty from seawater and sand and from bedless cubicles
bedowned by whirling feathered things.