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Wang Xiuying

Skrymir’s GloveR.F. Langley
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Vol. 26 No. 24 · 16 December 2004
Poem

Skrymir’s Glove

R.F. Langley

341 words

This morning in November in the bar
of the Angel there is an open fire.
I tell you this so you imagine it
as though the bar in the Angel were a
place that has been given to itself, full
of itself, filled with the things there are in
here, such as the fire. Not the words but the
flames. This is quite possible though you know
that what you have of it, its hum and pop,
could not be prior to the poem. You
don’t take shelter in the darkness and the
cold of open countryside which, in the
morning, will turn out to be inside the
giant’s glove. You sit down at a table
by the window where you can feel the flames,
take off your gloves, wait for Louise, who comes
through the doors into such places, those given
to themselves. You still enjoy the way she
does, and here she is. Grey eyes. Black hair. Go
for the gloves. Fashioned by trolls, the food is
tied up in impenetrable iron.
The cat is stuck into the shape of sleep
and can’t be levered off the floor. Your tongue
proves chocolate dust on cappuccino
froth. It’s all as heavy and as hard as
that. But it holds good. There is some truth in
every bit of it. Louise can help, things
on her mind, her fingers lost around the
coffee cup. The good spectators will now
imagine someone facing her across
the table, where otherwise there would be
empty space. Someone is called to work on
a complete Louise, lever her off the
floor, fix her in iron, put her amongst
grey eyes, black hair, and seat her opposite.
That will be me, facing Louise, feeling
the fire inside the Angel bar, inside
the giant’s glove, the window to my left.
I will arrive precisely when Louise
picks up her cup, touches the iron, wakes
the terrific cat, and both of us are
given to ourselves, together with trolls,
perhaps, and incredible November.

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