Title: Sport 24

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, March 2000

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 24: Summer 2000

Nick Ascroft

Nick Ascroft

page 131

A Brooch On Your Lapel

In the insouciant light of the garden
Seen from the scabrous greyness the alley has secreted from the sun,
An angel, a blinding saint, cocks
His head to brush the tassels of his locks.

The gleaming strands untangled, she feels them
Like fiery needles threading through the hole in the hedge
& Piercing the lump of jasper she has knotted in her scoundrel's chest.
She'll mix in his affairs, gangrene his spirits
With flatteries & lies, promises & kissed deceits.
His body will topple into the graveyard she trawls behind her,
At her throat. She knows her intentions will blacken &

Slick around his loveliness, insidious, consuming it.

If only he could stay, flickering in that glass garden,
Warming her eyes with a softness of the light
That could turn her coveting into love.
In the doorway of the evening,

When the pinks & the oranges bring out the yellows, he is taken in,
Not on sufferance of the sweet tongue, but in the half-light,
On the teeth of the lies themselves.
She is dashed on his glass & his glass on her.
The predator in her will not be his undoing but his doing in.
He will supplicate his pale flesh to the reds & blues of her bruising.
He will say my criminal, wear me as a pin,

A brooch on your lapel.

page 132

Turned Earth, the Stitches in My Arm

A position of some sophistication, a deft thread,

Was pursuing my attention, my eyes ploughed
Up through the reasoning in the roof of my brains
& Before I knew it, zing, swish, something slid
Through my hands & the car bust off the road
Like a button from a shirt.

The seatbelt flinched back, cowering from
A hysteria of movement hard against my ribs.
In, out, back, forth, the car, like a machine-needle,
Wound & carved a panic
Down the bank of a hillside. Dust settled

To earth in the darkness, I didn't take it in.
My previous thoughts were ruffling, collecting
Themselves & draping the background of this new
Perspective: the windscreen faced the sky
Like a turned paddock, broken, rugged.

There was Sirius, huffing itself up an ulcer, red &
Blue, its efforts wasted on the planets, the relaxed
Glory of the planets. Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn,
They lay arched, a seam in space, hugging a curve;
For a second the distance between us

Seemed comprehensible. Those massive accidents
Of matter, parked awkwardly in the depths
Of a vast roadside, coolly dragging through reels
Of time, they were sites, discernible locations,
Pin-marks in a measured pattern.

page 133

& Although they quickly distanced themselves
From me, dissolving like the stitches in my arm,
They remained as seeds within my chest, rows
Hemming-in my heart, sewing alarm thinly,
Quietly fraying & gathering in.