Parenthesis

The plane trees turn
Disillusioned leaves


Quite early this year
The Dutch elm bug is on his holidays
While we sneak out 


To the dregs of seaside towns
A breeze, gull-hollow in the mouth
Of a tipped over flagon


The day has that wormed-through look
Of driftwood and premature age


The gulls flock
In that senescent, rough drawn game
Of wings unfolding
In hearts and crosses


Someone poured out petrol on the sea
Bursting when the sinking sun, dissolved
In match-flare quickness
Dragged down with waning hostility, a smoking sky


As if no-one, in the semi-dark, could still be inflamed


I know you know the stars are embers
There is a parenthesis somewhere here
Time will only take you so far
From the edge we see the remnant light
Why – I don’t know why
That died in self-effacement
A shoreline’s length ago 

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