A Letter from Tu Fu | Matthew Clegg

                  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:

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