'the shape of towns'


hills, taller than scrutiny. it is night
that bites off the far-away. near the roof of life

a high window blackens. a restrained ground of cloud
brackets loose bicycles at the outer grid, but in the near frame

cars stay. then streets erupt in orange hellos,
dry as the voices of goldfish,

each brightness lingers seconds, sinking
its miniature sundown in the glassy, globular eyes

of dusk dog-walkers. a river of smilers,
smoothly passing


hot days sing on the skin like sherbet, but their sleep
incites no riot. a calm water is forecast,

car headlamps blink like lemurs
from the overhang, in this last, weightless

light that fills, like music, the open eyes of drivers
updrafting their flight on the fiery arrows

of street signs. all autumn, the sky
has rotated five legendary mornings: rose, amber, cerise

sunflower, taupe; none of which reach
to the cheaper seats. at the faint end

of gardens, the lines harden. then gates,
pavements appear


afterimages crowd the remaining enclaves.
the plain, brown-headed girl develops herself

in photographic chemical trays, she lives in her name
like a house, a small dry room she built

as a child. in the next domicile, in the switched-on nature
documentary, a lost edelweiss is climbing

the outskirts of the music industry
for want of mountains