Dithering

Mark Ford

‘Let Spades be trumps!’ she said, and trumps they were; it leaves
us free to cry, and whisper to their souls to
go. Nor wilt thou
then forget where are the legs with which
you run, Hurroo! Hurroo!, or wake
and feel the fell of dark. Like an angel came
I down,
when my dream was near the moon,
the crux left of the watershed, and the stars that usher
evening rose. He
is not here; but far away – o’er Bodley’s dome his future labours
spread. ‘Have you been
out?’ ‘No.’ ‘And don’t want to, perhaps?’ Men shut their doors
against a setting sun, and high
the mountain-tops, in cloudy air, and instantly the whole
sky burned with fury against them. They
like to drink beer, and each one had
a little wicker basket, made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously:
patient, look, thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours,
etherised
upon a midnight dreary, where no flower can wither; many
a spring I shoot up fair, the book on the writing
table, the hand in the breast pocket.