There’s a man in church with four daughters,
seemingly spun out one after the other.
No doubt he will claim they’re blessings and princesses, but
when one is tugging at his leg and the third is missing with the choir singing
he’s etched with the look of a 19th century glider stuck in a Russian fighter jet
The builder smiles and says
“Ooooh if I had a superpower
I’d want the power to turn ordinary people
into a real harmonious choir you know”,
The “you know” cloaked in an undisclosed regional accent
“it’s not superman but it’s a gift”. He says “gift”
with a heavy “G” like it genuinely is heavenly manna,
he’s probably from Birmingham.
Me, I’d want the power of teleportation:
Be here. Be there. No in-between stations.
Didn’t really want to be here, But I said,
“wow, that’s special. What would we call that?
Teleki-singing?” And we laughed.
And I stayed.
I refuse to compare what we have to
nicotine or heroin like these novices do.
the thing between us is like,
an underground bunker
yes, an underground bunker
one we weren’t aware of,
one we didn’t think we’d see,
till that nuclear tipped Tuesday
and it was obvious:
we were the masons.
Sometimes, like now, I am heavy with gratitude
For the grains of rice left on my dinner plate,
The reused bottle of water by my right,
Yoghurt in the fridge, stained coffee mug in the sink,
Over ripe bananas on the kitchen counter,
Fingers to type, a poem to write, books on my shelf,
The desk sized spider residing in the hallway,
A spare duvet,
Spam letters in the post and a name to claim,
The hole in the sole of the purple Adidas on my feet,
The sun’s heat on my cocoa butter skin,
A window to look through and glass to rattle in the wind,
The 57p in my passed down brown leather wallet,
This wobbly IKEA poplar and the fairly expensive things above it,
Overdue rent, the broken shower downstairs and my cheap, divorced Indian landlord,
I’m grateful for it all.