I’m working with Sage Cohen’s wonderful prompt as a starting point. I have a fractious, restless baby sleeping fitfully next door, so I guess anything between ten minutes and two hours to work on this. Also, I don't want to keep going on about it, but this is fucking terrifying. I haven't written much poetry since years ago and I feel like I'm standing here with no clothes on.
Right. Here goes mooning the world:
This room, this square room, fills
with the crackle of burning
paper as you suck a cigarette.
two blue screens reflect in your glazed eyes, bouncing endless static buzz
back and forth. Spilt
ashtray, dirty carpet absorbs voice, mops it up like so much sour milk.
I wear a raincoat over my pyjamas. I hold the lighter in my lap. I am
barefoot. Silent. Counting. In and out. In and out.
A moment’s silence appears. Big enough to leap.
rushes up a thin metal ladder, swarms to dizzy heights, takes a high dive –
overtaken by the scrabble of a key forced into a lock, the shiver and scrape of metal on metal,
a breath from the lungs, focus
to this hand, this minute hand, this second hand, the
as the door opens and night air floods the room.
Stairs fall away one by one to ground level. Dominoes topple.
Gratefully, I sink into the black like a seabird
sinks into an oilslick.
There's the baby. That will have to do for today!