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by John Stocks

It is five o’clock and our time to explore
The rooms you kept for no discernible reason
Other than the lingering ends of long afternoons.
Along the city road beyond the gas works
Your blackout curtains readily drawn.

Fumbling up the faintly familiar staircase
The sudden intimacy of gaslight
The welcoming hiss of wireless
The crooner’s song that ends in whispers.

And now a purposeful intervention
A husky voice, the drone of aircraft overhead
And flesh pressed against flesh, lips together
Grinding passion beyond the aspidistra.
Sensuous subtlety of slow burning kisses
The intense fragrant fetish of perfumed skin
Faces lit with the faintest glimmer of firelight
The crackle from the scavenged coal.

Rain in torrents splashing against the window
As if the whole world is washed away
With the wild diffusion at autumn’s closing.

And after two souls are liberated
The malodorous fog descends again
A muffled paper boy calls, ‘Evening final!’
And the tram car pulls away from the city
With the vicar in ‘Lyons’ café sipping tea
Watching the hourglass and counting down
Blue eyes glinting with fatal charisma.

‘They say that you never hear the bomb that kills you,’
he said.
But as always, no one was listening.

Copyright © 2007 by John Stocks

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