Accidents & Emergencies

We met in ward light,

hands bandaged from climbing cuts,

scaling places we couldn’t control,

with paper and pens and violin trills:

world seemed so sharp, without graces.


But we spoke like prisoners, batting away

winking sunshine, locked in jabbing

rhythm to see which gave first:

my flat regionalisms, your wordly



First things handed as struck metal,

a running of corridors we get let

on, as careful dancers do when they

can’t face a breaching of light,

a cutting of fabric sheet.


Then it was open, warming song

of jumping fumes from open street

air, covered pound notes in cooling

of August fabric, but something

more than that to melody


of scamper-flashing ambulance lights

you could be heard to say:


“Is this in A, is it in E?”


“No, both.”