Monday, 21 April 2014
Two poems about throwaway objects
Chewing Gum Wrapper
See that chewing gum wrapper
With its metallic sheen,
Its papery underside,
Its serrated edge,
See it down there on the cobbles
Neighboured by fresh dog shit,
Discarded paper glinting in the Seville sun.
If it were an animal,
It would be a kind of lizard,
One leg stretched towards the light,
Warming its blood perhaps
Or frightened by my presence,
Both standing there, staring, free of will.
A glinting lizard under the sweating sun.
If it were human,
It would be in dire need
But instead, it suggests an owner
That I almost want to hate.
This rejected scrap, baby shadowed,
Dropped by a hand that simply doesn't care-
Shoes tapped away from it, human heads unturned.
The lizard catches my eye and winks.
The humans have their money and concerns,
Their losses too.
But me, I've got a lizard.
'Is this a contact lens?'
The shock of seeing it there,
Curled upon her fingertip,
An approximation of sight,
A small transparent skin,
Plastic, peeled from the eyeball
And resting against the swirls
Of lines that show who his wife is.
A symbolic eye spying
On their marriage. A shock
Of memory- the strange woman
Snapping at her own eyes. Needing
To get something out. Like she was
Being bitten. The lens tells of mascara,
Splayed lashes, puffy faces on a hushed
And secretive morning. The nausea.
Lick the eye and remove the fly.
Is his wife doing that now?
'But neither of us wears them.'
Her fingertip blinks.