When the Fifty-Five knocked me down on Oxford Street
(and after I’d left my wallet at home)
security picked up my black executive
and weighed it in at seven kilos.
It didn’t detonate in the dank, dim quarry
but was scanned smoothly in a dark, deep bunker
and they lost the next months re-assembling
the carnage of my alter man.
I was a spy, this collection my life.
Silica gel as light emetic
and a clip of pastels to dope and fell –
I’d lunge and gouge with a sprung umbrella
and the download cable could throttle or bind:
all enveloped in a must of rot which
locked them down to isolation
and left bespectacled technicians gasping up for light.
I’d ticketed down from Newcastle under a dozen different
business cards, and hidden my tracks in a
stack of faded, overwritten receipts.
My camera held no lasting trace of eliminations
now encrypted on memory stick which was stuck to the fingers of latex gloves;
the tin a rattling of random coin, and my face is blown
from Orestad to London; I live in the photo of a
whitewashed chateau and know I’ll weaken if they
crack my scale, now out and named by the Institution
and licensed to kill with a blank risk assessment,
a disturbing fascination with gothic transition, a toolkit
of poisoned paperclip scratches,
a tourniquet of sisal string, invisible writing from
inkless pens, combustible fluff and a helix of hair
and, deep undercover, the cellophane wrap from a long-written card,
at last, there’s a woman somewhere in there.