machine of spring with all your levers thrown to max
clouds in ripped clothes and sheep trailing afterbirth
where last week’s buds sucked blue juice from the dusk
now the branch is swollen     priapic
cherry bling and hawthorn sex-bed smell
motorway hedgerows on thrust      electric rapefields

your levers are jammed and nothing can pull them back
not now      not frost       not squall
city gutters clogged with blossom
muddy ponds spuming with cannibal tadpoles
the long blinding days      your bashed clock
the violent small hours      magpie clacking at the robin’s nest

and us lying open-eyed all night
breathing in the white noise of pollen
hearing the long bones of the trees stretch and crack
wondering      will you ever power down or is this it now
wondering      what can any death among us mean to you
and will we make it through to summer or is this it now

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences