Poetry | Finn Haunch

Black Carr im

I shall not want…
Greensleeves shunted through an ice cream truck
in the boroughs, & leaf-gagged noise in
this snug gorge….under the corporated ruins
of Leeds & Bradford, the mayflower is 
stage-managed here: spectacular fists
of white foliage opening….opening
over the clay pits. I’ve sat at this crossroads, 
smug, where the horse shit hardens under the 
cow parsley, & finally once the quad bikers
sod off & leave me in peace, you see
that for whatever reason some bloke
is stood in the thorn bushes….snaps polaroids—
the click & whirr on his pretentious antique
annoys me. & then there is the angelus 
of the ice cream man, the tinny resonance 
reaches mehail mary, full of grace…
& soon enough, a polaroid is spat out 
from the ejection slot: the pretentious 
bloke wags it about, and what forms out 
from under his fingernails is a 
catherine wheel of thunderflies sprocketed 
through the clean air: so ends the account of celluloid.
& what comes after, what is there to say 
aside from that I didn’t know him,
that I thought he was prick, that we met 
once at a party, maybe twice: what else
is there to say? About a month back,
seeing mates over a pint, I heard 
that he died: & that was that: no one knows 
what happened hail mary, full of grace…
& now, up the beads of a broken rosary,
ecstasy comes in on an image of 
myself prostrate to the straw god of crossroads: 
I pray in my room tonight, & tomorrow 
my knees shall be bent on a steel footbridge
& my fat thighs shall be printed with 
cross-hatching—& when the beck is churning 
backwards, there shall come a moment when
the martyrdom of the catherine wheel rises 
& becomes clear over black carr: & before 
you turn to look beside you, his tortoiseshell
glasses shall have been laid out on a chevroned 
bull-stone, & in the canopy another 
click & whirr—the sound of pissing in the bushes. 
…surely mercy shall follow

Finn Haunch is a writer based in Newcastle. His poetry is rooted in the West Riding, where he grew up, and in County Durham, where he was born and went to university. He is especially interested in spiritual and theological questions and has been published by Ink Sweat & Tears.

Twitter: @LankyNortherner

This poem was originally published in Ink Sweat and Tears.

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