Four Poems

At Rest

Even the busiest of businessmen—

time is money merchants—are out
for the count, paying the price for
the compensation of a satisfactory rest
by giving up each night’s potential output
gratis, like the takings of a benefit gig.


Happy as the night is long, sleepers
revert to a primitive state and—working
components switched to standby mode—
heave steady breaths like sighs of relief,
snort the addictive air. Slack penises relax
at half-mast, a complete flop, breasts level off.


Equality officers, hedge-fund speculators,
lap dancers, rubber tappers lay down
their lives, defenceless against the night’s
inexorable threats, naked or attired in cotton
bedwear, stripped of rank. Can evolution
not dispense with this primeval throwback?


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