Pseudo-Poetic

For Ben

The ungloved parts of my hands are cold.
The adventure playground clings to Tarmac;
it is dark. We can’t see the tips of our toes as we swing.
You have too many fingers for the monkey bars.

Fifteen minutes ago.
Past the middle-class postage-stamp estate which holds most of us.
Our friends chase the coloured blooms back
to the chemicals that made them.
You say it’s poetic.
I like the way the ash lingers;
the way the grass flames like a city under siege.

A child as high as our empty hands
stands, cupping each explosion with the o of his mouth.
To him, they are still just fireworks.

Who’s idea was the park?
We, old enough to know that skin
sticks to slide; perhaps we have exams tomorrow.
The LED screams of your phone screen find no listeners in this blackness.
Gaudy primary colours, chipped,
revealing rusty bars.

The horizon is a mauve bruise
behind the red metal fence.

We would annotate those fireworks.
Stack them into equations;
solve them so that they explode
with no remainders.

A gold plume ruptures the night.
Forks into paths like a bird’s foot.
It is your metaphor for how we will leave,
separate, carving lives through the clouds.

It’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.
But look, you say,
how they sparkle when they leave.

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