SPECULATION

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The Independent Culture
The papers promised an eclipse;

the moon's black disc distinctly,

slowly, pushed part-way across the sun,

as a counter for outrageous stakes,

is laid circumspectly on another.

They added I should only watch

backwards, through a cardboard box.

They even drew a diagram, numbered

those already blind. It rained

all afternoon, of course. It was not

till four o'clock that I walked out,

saw, in the empty, silvered street,

a shadow on the shadowed light, a scarf

of dark, like smoke from barricades

of tyres, an apolcalyptic city fire.

I thought then how it is with us -

I stare, you turn away and flush, as if

from heat, bad odds, a blinding glare.

We generate that sort of weight -

an unnatural, thickened, net of air.

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