The Amnesia-to-Melancholy Ratio
There was a meteorite. Years ago.
Nobody observed it at the time
Though it was mighty as Chicxulub
Strapped to the back of Tunguska.
To most, it just looked like the sky.
It might as well have been Allan Hills–
Tucked away in a lab, studied and stored
Until somebody made the connection
With Martian fossils and for a moment
The scumbayas were petrified.
You didn’t feel it then but it knocked
You for six; holed you in a hundred places –
Apertures that undermined your structure
So that Kryptonite was nothing to you now.
You curved as required, mirroring those
Who came into your orbit; taking on
Their shapes; reflecting what they might
Expect. You swerved and pretzelled
For to stand up at all was to risk
Collapse. That meteorite was good.
If one of them had wiped out the dinosaurs,
What had another done to tiny, flightless you,
Not even a terrible lizard? The meteorite
Survived: lately, an unexpected land mass
Has been sighted off the islets of engrams.
You wake me with a squeezing
Of strawberry cut – one drop
On my left lid, one drop on my right –
And the tenderest kiss to my nose.
I open my strawberried eyes,
Expecting to find him in the room,
Lotus on the duvet, uncrossing;
Dissolving before I can make out his edges –
But he has not come. I have to
Do this on my own. I know he
Turns up when I am not looking
Out for him. There’s evidence.
My beard hair on his razor
In your bathroom cabinet.
His love bruise on your neck
That day in Grace Cathedral Park.
In his mouth, my brutal tongue,
Smarting after you have kissed and bitten it.
The poems published here were part of the Timecoloured Place exhibition at the Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin 1 (September / October 2011).
Patrick Chapman is an Irish poet, writer and screenwriter, born in 1968. His poetry collections include Jazztown, (Raven Arts Press, 1991), The New Pornography (Salmon Poetry, 1996), Breaking Hearts And Traffic Lights (Salmon Poetry, 2007), A Shopping Mall on Mars, (BlazeVOX, 2008) & The Darwin Vampires, (Salmon Poetry, 2010). His story collection, The Wow Signal (Bluechrome) was published in 2007. You can find him at www.patrickchapman.net