Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
The woman skating - Somerset House

The woman skating reminds us of the white dust
somehow, of the powdered bones in the rutted field.

When the trainee dentists practise on dead heads
from the morgue they release gas from the gaping
dead mouths’ sockets. This corpse is in a suit,
his head is clamped; the black hole of his quiet mouth
is caged open. The boy’s mirror glitters inside it.

It is her studied grace perhaps. Her graceful turns
spray showers of powdered water, like the moment
the road-builder’s hammer splinters the bones of skeletons.
Dust flies up, less frozen, almost warm, white.

The drilled dust of teeth is grey like the road
home from Waterloo. The pure new snow decays
under the first tyres as it would have
under the wagons of 1917 when the bones
were pushed into the rutted tracks under the new road.

She looks as if she may have skated everywhere,
been admired everywhere. Her flights launch flights
in the viewer. Someone must be kissing her.
She launches, twists, lands, slides away in reverse.
On the terrace by the river, on the bridge over the river,
in suburban homes, it is her rising from the ice
with frost on her breath, and men and women
wanting her, that helps us love the vast lit-up city.

The vast lit-up city, seen from Waterloo Bridge:
if that was my camera flashing in the London Eye
my photograph from there looking towards St Mary Axe
would have her in it, and soldiers on the bridge.

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