Archaeology could sure come to grips
with your sink; could peel stains from stainless steel
to get back to basics; monitor grounds
and oil paint ooze; skim off the top mile;
log emptied tea bags (poor ghosts of themselves,
stuck like crabs to tarmac in the sun's
fascist heat). And how tempting to carve
a name into the grey atomic dust
that has outmanoeuvred the taps. You mount work
from examined students, check each number
matches, calibrate each debated mark.
And my ankle gets number and number.

At home I've a puzzle: how a drainer tray,
on which I balance pyramid washing-up,
could develop a second skin as moist as clay
and scum-sticky as a tomb. I clear each cup,
re-wipe each knife. I aim the kettle's jet
on planes that show my face (prosthetic nose
and bitten lips and cheeks planed to a tip).
In spite of the bleach (three bottles poured down
like wine down a CEO in debt),
in spite of the knowledge my name's up for hell
if I don't get it right: my tie gets too wet
and last night we ate lamb. I still smell the smell.

Philip Wilson

If you've any comment on this poem, Philip Wilson would be pleased to hear from you.