Caution Your Blast
And when it is finished I pack all your words
into a bag, heave it over my shoulder, catch
a plane north where it’s light till late.
The river falls away, shrinks, swells to sea
and I peel a sickbag in half to write
this thing that will make loss look splendid
but the pen explodes in my hand. Sticky ink
fills the shiny creases, stains my palms.
At thirty-thousand feet we see so clearly.
Below fallow fields run like rusted love
and somewhere another self drives west,
yet another hurls shame to the wind,
howls, beats fists on firm supple earth,
fills her enormous mouth with acid,
throws back her head and spits.
In this oily intersection of selves the air
blasts and burns and bursts
and I am somewhere landed, old but new.
Here on the tarmac my future turns,
looks back at my past who’s just passing
and I think she winks.
About this poem
"Alongside the runway at London City Airport there's a little orange sign that states, somewhat cryptically, ‘caution your blast’; this has always seemed quite good advice."