Words & Links




Published in Skylight 47 Issue 8 and in A Third Colour (Culture Matters).

All my plottings go to one dark target:
your description is stamped through my blood. As
a point of accuracy, I take
my temperature exactly on the hour.
Listening to myself is an uneasy
doctrine. On occasion, a large pulse jolts

the eye and it is hard to see. Listen
to yourself, I say, without conviction.
Measure everything until the moment
is right. Take the temperature. Swallow pills,
if necessary, to correct imbalance.
There was a woman once in Largosse Town

but that was long ago. There, it was hot
and the mosquito nets were spiders' webs
dropping old sweat and perfume. I went out
of my mind along still, unusual
corridors, staring, as if in a sauna.
You stood on the other side of a door

among doors. I was awake. Indecision
was my neurosis then. The brass knockers
were too heavy to lift. They had to tie
me down for my own good, they thought. She sang
and did some ironing. Beyond those days,
reshaped, new-made, smiling, tuned, resolute,

I got up and went to a meeting-place
where I received instruction. The weapon
is authorised. The state is behind me.
I need the pills but only to correct
a lack of dry precision. My hand
must be steady. When I take aim, my eye

must be keen. You think it is love and death
(where is your husband now?), a romantic
reward since this is illegal. The heart,
you fancy, is the target. No, the head.
I have taken my temperature. My pulse
is slow. My hand... yes. My eye... yes. Ready,

I think. I call this a kiss. Steady
and done. With instruction, there can be no
mistake. As a point of accuracy.

© 2018 Alan Dunnett