He isn’t aware that on his nose a transparent beard has appeared.
The impossibility of the best disguise makes her melt
into herself. Bones – he draws the liquid through
a short, fat, silver-coloured one. Such a funny shape,
difficult to hold, but it makes you wrap your hand around it.
Its space unfolds. He keeps stealing
away to make his propositions, but he comes again
as disfigured shadow with bits and pieces of childhood.
How taut the plot. It ends
in a forgotten reserve of air. What with the door as it shuts
you have to go in search of something else
such as sticking knives into your own photoshop-smooth
forehead, so that you can gaze into the passages made by them
which promise everything which isn’t here.





Where he swept song your white
mouth has stopped further discovery
on the path, the one you produced
begins, having the earth
you made it not the desert
but in yourself circle where you still
my arms can hold daylight, all
your limit stretches swells
skin, is touched this living
separation our bodies mime
except I exist turning ready-made
wholeness be named, my tears, your
cold childhood, the pulse of petals
remains open we are buried
roots, our blood in them
they are fixed and repeating
this sense as high return, the day
so distant between, re-opening
stars and my body mimes a pool
mirror the child water what distance
the sky such a burning separation
you wake the past day, you enter
through cries.




[Ian Seed's latest collection is New York Hotel (Shearsman, 2018), nominated by Mark Ford as TLS Book of the Year. His most recent chapbook is Distances (Red Ceilings, 2018). Forthcoming is Bitter Grass (Shearsman 2020), a translation from the Italian of Gëzim Hajdari. Seed’s translation of Pierre Reverdy’s Le voleur de Talan (the first into English) is available from Wakefield Press.]

Copyright © 2019 by Ian Seed, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.