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2027

by Anthony Caleshu


I am thinking ahead to a time not so foreign as to be subtitled,
but anachronistic, the soundtrack by Pulp but post-war,
post-apocalyptic, post-whale. From atop the Hoe,
we no longer imagine soldiers standing on deck HMS Ocean, Albion, Bulwark
extending invitations to go fishing at dusk
before being manoeuvred out to sea.

                                                                                     At this point in history,
even I cannot prevent your being dressed in whites or something
more ballistic: stripped down and stretched into neoprene
and sunk in a Vanguard class Trident missile
submarine . . . the waters no longer blue but black, the surface above
unknown and mimicking the margins of sleep,
of dream.

                                                                                     You return,
because you always return, from beyond the breakwater
to the dockyards. You walk from Devonport through Stonehouse,
past the chip-shops and the chop-shops, the smell of paint
mixed with petrol, and now perfume—dabbed high on the thighs
for homecomings in back alleys that run like rivers
back to me.

 

Poems from Anthony Caleshu’s first book, The Siege of the Body and a Brief Respite (Salt, 2004), have been anthologized in The New Irish Poets and The Forward Book of Poetry 2005. “2027” is from a new collection of poems, many of which begin with the life and works of Melville. (9/2006)


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