(after Edward Hopper and Hart Crane)
Like her, we make our tentative calculations
Based on the wireless weather forecasts;
Rain on the window, bullets from tommy-guns
Fired in some vintage gangster movie.
For we can still feel the threads of family,
Of home, the drone of telegraph lines
Across the prairie and the trail of tears,
The wall clock ticks, the radiator hums
Through emptied caverns of bus stations
Close to midnight, this fugitive goumada
Sweetens her fifth espresso
And clocks the headlights in the lot.
Like her, we finger what’s left of the wad
To delay the doom of the inevitable burn -
The hammer’s click, the barrel’s swivel,
Crow calls through falling leaves,
The slice of a spade in soil.
And yet the quiet stillness of the automat,
The swirl of undissolved cream
Suspends, for now, the weight of Omertá,
Grief that comes with a game called vendetta.
Like her, who fidgets with her spoon,
Framed by the surge of a dark window
A highway of lamps leading away
We prepare to change one alias for next,
On a pulp novel quest through the wilderness.
Bob Beagrie is a poet from Middlesbrough and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University. He has published nine collections of poetry, most recently Leasungspell (Smokestack Books 2016), Remnants (Knives, Forks & Spoons Press 2019), and This Game of Strangers (Wyrd Harvest Press 2017), his tenth collection Civil Insolencies is due out from Smokestack Books in December 2019.
The Ekphrastic Review
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