Cold Cast by Clare McCotter

Evening in Dublin by the canal
we walk among barefoot tracks
tracing new moons
in the curve of a shoulder
stopping to rest a hand
on the head
of a skeleton dog.
Their sea-grey rock pool eyes
deep set in bone
jutting like stars through papyrus.

Night in Budapest by the Danube
flowing icy and black
beside brogues
with shabby uppers
laced high heels
scuffed men’s boots
rusting beside
a child’s stumpy pair.
And inviting
a foot to slip inside
the peak toe sling back
given meager warmth
from a tea candle’s little light.
Borderland between day and night
in Lampedusa by the Med
spiriting away
their juniper twigs and crystal
the gypsies are gone

and the flowers sellers
still have not come.
In the empty hour
before dawn
all is calm and turquoise
nothing stirs
save the last star
flickering on the horizon
it will vanish soon.
Falling into a reef of cold cast shoes
the sea’s corroded floor.

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