Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

your face (2007)

i on my mobile outside the blue chicken shop
see you, bright bantam-eyed, watching my empty voice
bounce on the pavement like blanks from a rain gun.
do you have my face locked safe behind your face?
you’ve seen me before, i know, haunting your space,
just in case, just in case, you escape to my head
where your face is already locked safe behind mine.

i will carry this with me under the river
through tunnels, down stairs on a long twisted journey
home to the west where i sit and assemble
the negative space round your head, shape an absence,
but more, to have captured your essence in ink and
to know when i’m ancient that there was this moment.
your face will be there, as it was, framed in words.

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