Fly in a
The bluebottle, in helmet and goggles, circuits the ward,
a mad aviator who will end up in Casualty. Beds glide past
like battleships rising out of the mist of a warm sea;
on board, the infirm drift towards the horizon of their pain
or the sure footfall of land. It stops. Plaster of Paris
is warily explored by six legs; oiled suckers
scale the smooth incline that coats a tibia, until
a launch towards the menu of new discovery:
four-star restaurant of the sluice, chic diner of damp sheets.
Everywhere nurses frown like distracted doormen
at its presence; its appetite is frequently denied
by waving hand, brandished magazine. Rumour has it
the basement contains a delicatessen of cold meat,
name-tags gracing big toes. For now, shrivelled grape
and crumpled tissue suffice, though it hopes
for a used dressing before the day is out. Wings
beat on, conveying it to the curtailment of desire:
gorged satisfaction; exhaustion locking it to a ceiling;
houseman's irritated swat. Until then, to cruise
is to live, chained to the freedom of hunger and disease,
magnetised by bound wound and drained groin,
sickened by its own aerial insistence.

--- From Qwerty
Paul Graves
Poetry Wales
57 Nolten
Wales CF31 3AE
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