08 Dec Owen Clayborn
WHEN I WAS DRINKING (EVENING)
I cheered when the summer event was a wash-out.
I cheered silently and alone.
I cheered when the floodwaters rose up immensely
covering bridges and washing the paths
bringing the children and cameras for walks to the brown heaving river
and over the ill-advised metal walkway where the chuck and tumble
frightened even the dogs with their sensible tongues.
I cheered when the castles you built up fell falling
gold brick by red brick by blood-bullied brick
into the flick and scratch of the shit-crusted avenue
into disrepair and newspaper shadow
where calumny trod your face down
and the girls in their black uniforms hid their smiles
but conspiring Sun lit their teeth white, flashing,
and your empire died in the dust.
I cheered loudly, riding the red van,
hooting and whooping and racing the red van,
in between forests and scaring the deer.
Owen Clayborn is a British-American author and poet currently living on a rainswept island in the North Atlantic. His novel, The Dog That Made Me Naked, will be published next year.