Avatar Review

Graham Burchell

Red Rock Café

The mouths of serpents are irises
showing off scarlet seeds, wagging
their anger at encroaching trains,
looking for somewhere to spit.

Two bicycles prop a sea wall,
one for Mr Café man who clips bramble,
one for Mrs Iris Café active
with wire wool to erase the chalk
of yesterday’s menu; forever
scraping at her memories.

Her accent  - that’ll be one pound ten, dear,
doesn’t belong, neither does his earring,
nor the lobe, the cold-weathered skin, close-
shaved head and hard urban look through his eyes.

They have escaped the past they think;
the railway lines that brought them - before them;
their seaside café kiosk behind,
with the succulent covered red rock block,
brown sand and the edge of the world
where a dying sea laps.

The mouths of a serpent and Iris
spit, look at us now ay, squeezed
between yesterday and eternity
like the mouths of serpents
that are irises that wag;
mauve grey flags forgotten in the waste.

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