Paul Bramley

Certain Ordinary Features

Certain ordinary features cast up against afternoon's end,
though it become flattened as a collective by rain and men
and women little warning but they must stand in awe
of one another, fixed on stand-up spells, scrolls of light flopped
between, pale as yesterday's hunger ricocheting away
down side streets; nor need another evening begin in
shallow mastery of rooms without sense to love us in return.
That a blanket of plashing hands could fold so equally
over countless genocidal impulses – for there will
always be cutlery with its neurotic hold and every piece
of underwear its day in fraught calls to you as witness
where indiscretions faded soon – is still a terminus
to be reckoned with in hysterically quantized isolation,
given at least just a molecule of bias toward
fuming a while under a history lesson's canopy
at this abrupt outburst of democratic insouciance.
That just enough of them for victory hold up, to grin away
like flamingos through a vision of pavements breaking
in the deluge, flipped through the mess of letters made
till febrile caught in shoppers' oaths; wouldn't you know it,
they can wade distinct as arias under a street lamp,
in the sly fire of our day? With so much life to ourselves,
you'd think none of us had time to wait for a dream
to choose our faith and prick the darkening bubbles round
our prone accomplices met at water's edge. But instead,
to make room and move on from the gates, more magically even,
tenor now disguises only just, in an interregnum of –
"Let's get this straight" – premeditated bags determinate of shape
and desires barging cleanly past each other, to whistle for more
of only the same and less of what I'm not, for all the range it makes.