From the series Postcards from Rock Bottom
in between your fifth and sixth sip of coffee
I will spread a map across the table,
spill the contents of your mug into the nearest flower pot,
(then make you another one – one sugar, no milk)
and arm you with a magnifying lens
until you trace back every alley,
every bus stop, every local supermarket
where somebody’s vocal chords had glitched and called you
Barefoot, with a megaphone in hand,
I will trudge through every muddy trail,
from the riverside in East Kilbride to the Coliseum,
back through the camping sites in south-west England and up
into your bedroom window.
I will spell your light so many times into the wind
that its vibrations reach you –
at seven, at thirteen, at twenty-one –
and you forget the taste of words like
almost, barely, disappointment.
To some, you are the astronomical anomaly.
When NASA hands the job to Stuart,
he is assigned a simple task: watch the explosion.
Keep in mind
it is not an optical illusion. Not a comet, not auroras, not the sun itself.
You will think it is a human body in spontaneous combustion.
It is not; it is a human body
made of light. It is a prism in a burning room.
Astronomers have called it indescribable, left it in a box for further study,
but Stuart still takes notes.
The light explosion stirs in bed,
wakes up at 7:53,
makes itself a bacon roll.
Cracks its neck,
sets its hair on fire,
keeps entire cities warm.