By night I shall live in the mysterious docks,
the moon hanging above gantries and cranes
telling them to be solid and still; the dangling
hooks, the skyline of stacked containers.
I will live a life of feral kindliness
studying how to flatten against the walls
listening intently, wire cutters in my pocket,
my no plans planning—beating the others
who can't shake themselves free of their lives.
They do their rounds in the half-blind night
shining torches where I have chosen not to sleep,
then moving on, wanting to leave behind them
the angles of darkness, the subdued colours
and unsure shapes into which I have given
my life, as if uncertainty knows exactly what
I am worth. Meanwhile I am learning to steal
and scavenge. And how to drive a hard bargain
for nothing much with new acquaintances.
First Published in Orbis
© Paul Surman 2010