William Bibby


A Poem for October

Thursday, 7 Oct 2021


From upstairs a report of lightening stuck
against the window’s sheen;
yellow flashes zipping open and shut.

We listen to the vesper choir
warning us to be alert and fear
the hidden governess in her medieval court.

Half reflected in the bedroom light
brother and sister press their faces to the glass
as the hornets swarm the shining night.

So the man who never sleeps appears,
the default insomnia of a trained assassin,
chemically equipped, and prepares.

Though the height of the nest,
the elaborate wood-pulp meringue
dark saliva awnings under Chinese eaves

as he ladders up the gable underneath,
gives him vertigo, as divers see
the deeps beyond the reef.

The destroyer of cities, rung by rung,
claws up pumping oxygen, adrenalin,
mother and father urging him on

to loosen his terminate supply,
move in for the sting, compressor primed,
nuzzling the wet gas amongst the chambers of the queen.

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