You Know Me

Daniel Bennett

The Green Man, later. The ferry
out from the port. Late for work
or skipping it, a cigarette
in the kitchen, ragwort shivers
from the roadworks, like blossom
of a horse chestnut, like hands
after the crash. Diverted
by the old town, we consider
all the solutions, light pollution
by day, enough dissolution
to fill a pint pot. Blood by the bus stop,
a cut up on the shuttle route,
the posters in the tattooist
for carnival weekend. Five hours
under a needle takes it out of you,
the smoky light at the quayside
the essential quest. We are cities
dreaming of the landscape,
spires aimed into the sun. Even here,
in the banality of a brick town
someone is thinking of Tokyo
or Peter Doig, someone is primed
with an end of world dream.
We have work at the boatyard,
the golf course, in restaurants
and service stations, we have
the bare lights of the stadium
under which no one plays.
Count our witnesses. Clock watchers,
and recidivist carpenters, the devil
on a child's bike, discarded on a lawn.
Ex-sailors and night security,
the old woman lost in another sunrise
leaking blood orange and lavender
towards the sofa on her balcony
and like all of us she wonders
whether to blame someone
or thank them for the privilege.
Always moving. Always lost.
Always wondering when to pack up,
heave a life to the coach station
or the deserted railway platform
where a fence stretches across failure
and dog grass. No farewell, no tears
no forwarding addresses, you
know me. Tomorrow, maybe?