from 2009′s your own devices, published by tall-lighthouse press
Susie, on the late shift on a Friday in December,
counts the seagulls at the window. It’s low tide.
She sends a few free texts to men who don’t reply,
some taking finals now, some in the shows or worse.
They’re not allowed the radio in case it spooks the eels
so she plays through Meat Is Murder in her head
and tells herself the angelfish are dancing.
Outside the donut man is packing up;
the ice-cream man stopped coming
after Guy Fawkes’ Night. The turnstile clicks
the stragglers out, the counter gets reset.
There are no young lovers in the 8pm aquarium;
the management is worried that the romance
of the Ocean Tube is running dry. Susie has no emails.
She spent too much on Kettle Chips again.
Her thumb’s still bandaged from that time
she tested if the till had teeth. A tourist
took a photo as she bent down for a programme,
and she lost that dress on eBay when the auction ended
while she fed the seals. Each time she throws a fish’s head
she mouths a boyfriend’s name. The lights go out
at 8:15 – the foyer, viewing chamber, information room –
leaving the copper sulphate blue to guide
the passing shark which is the last bus home.