While you sleep off the drink,
high Jumbos score a lattice across blue –
creases to fold origami heaven.
I venture out, alone,
only intending a lap of the park
but am signalled and fired
by the tennis of light
volleyed off the mirrors of turning cars.
At Wadsley Bridge I clamber to the edge
that measures the city
where I stand, level with the power-lines
and feel the skin tighten around my skull.
Below me, 90 feet,
the mangled char of a convertible
has been tumbled off the edge and rests prone
on the railway tracks
while time pricks like a beak inside an egg.
I count 3 butterflies,
a hovering kestrel,
and the thee-ewe, thee-ewe
of some spry, flitting bird.
I would roll up this day
with a sprinkling of coarse black tobacco
for you to smoke out the moths in your head.
From Matthew Clegg’s first full-length collection West North East (Longbarrow Press, 2013). Listen to Matthew Clegg reading this poem on location: