the fear of ricochet

I dreamed a gun
like Dirty Harry’s, a Magnum,
phallic silvercoloured barrel
I dreamed a gun and a lock
A lock on a blank room
where I had to hide the gun
A lock on a blank room
with an ancient drawer
full of other people’s junk
where I had to hide the gun

We found a spike
like Audrey Hepburn’s, a pointer,
phallic silvercoloured pistil
We found a spike and a fork
A fork for a blank dinnerparty
where we had to manage the tasters
engulfing an ancient poorhouse
of other creatures’ lunches
where we had to replace the brandname

We felt everyone raced us in the blank gloom
with some interloper or frogmarcher or junkie,
with the spike,
with the blank surfaces,
with the echoing craters,
with the disappointment of recoil,
with the two fat victims in their labelled accessories and paint
structuring as activists
lecturing as legislators to attract your scorn—
with (say it!)
with the two fat tarts in their labelled clothes and makeup
posing as feminists
posing as artists to get your attention—

I dreamed you left me in the blank room
with some follower or child or dependent,
with the gun,
with the blank walls,
with the echoing surfaces,
with the fear of ricochet,
with (say it!)

We knew we ranted
and your heckler interrupted us,
tracing the collarbone
We know not your heckler,
cannot know,
though both of us
wish to know
We realise damned well that we
are not prophets
not monks
not even advertisers
And neither shall we
And yet you can…
you all can…

I dreamed you left
and your follower followed you,
taking the key
I am not your follower,
cannot be
though part of me
wants to be
I know damned well that you
are not Jesus
not Buddha
not even Lao Tzu
And neither am I
And yet we are…
we all are…

First published in my book lemon oil