Richard Pierce


A Gift

Not so much thought

as thoughtlessness. Emptying
my mind to be you, to see
like you, to feel like you,
to find something you might love.

I leave the station, and

follow the scent to Spitalfields
where I have shopped as you before.
The aisles of the market are short,
squat, only two or three stalls,
and then I have to turn again.

Jewellery. No. Too many conflicting

irritating metals, the wrong chemistry
today for your skin. Clothes. Where
would you wear them? I can’t take
you anywhere without a car and
cash, and nights too late.

Hats? I’d love to see you

wear one, a people’s hat, skew whiff
and crushed and messy,
but you wouldn’t. Move on.
Vinyl records made into clocks;
they break my heart, so cruel.

More jewellery, t-shirts that would

not fit your moods, carved
woods you’d hide
under our dust. And it’s nearly the end,
light from the next street of reality,
so I turn back.

I saw these bags in the second aisle,

when I first started,
sumptuous colours and flesh,
the perfume of the real. I am
you, in jeans, in a hurry, looking
for something that lasts.

Here it is.

For Marianne, on Valentine’s Day 2014

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