# 1,772: a drunk man compares teenage pregancies to a horse chestnut

two-tone mahogany
smooth as mothballs
                              in the thread
or cobwebs, damp —
socketed in the palm
in the pocket’s clothed spider

pale giant on the scaffold of the pram
age crossed-dressed
one life/two ages
seen at once
the child & not so child
now hole for the begging string
they want you to be:
asker, statistic, road-watcher.
known matter
read in rings
spooning sympathies
to a toothless winge.

youth to youth
like the new tooth
too soon, precocious
forked before the old
unready to soften its root
& stuck that way for all days:
talisman of dissatisfaction
mnemonic for 6 o’clocks
litmus tested in caffeine, smoke.

& that cry of amazing ventriloquism.