One. Turn on the halogen lamps. See:
The shed fills with light so golden
You could knit it into a story.
Happyeverafter fairytale where the prince
Always marries his prince at the end.
Two. In the light and the cold
Our lips breathe mist into the space
Between us. In the light and the cold
The sawdust from your saw
Tumbles in the air like etymology:
Dust mote means might. Dust might;
Each mote might hold a world inside it,
And mote means mot means word.
We are being told stories by the air.
Three. By halogen light with the dust
Rising around us
We’re making riot shields. Foam, plywood,
Cardboard, tape. You grip the drill
In a tired arm and I remember this morning
We hardly knew each other. You drink tea
Like it is coffee and coffee like you have never
Drunk anything before. You smoke
Like you have already given up. You get paint
On your glasses and swear and argue
About Foucault but I have met your father
And he loves you more than breath. The dust
Settles on the tight skin of your arm.
Four. The shields sit silent in the dark
Of the shed overnight with the rain
Hammering, hammering down.
Five. You bring rope. I bring paint.
The day is long and our bodies ache.
There is nothing glorious
About us at all, but by evening
The shields sit with books drawn on them.
They watch me from their drying corner.
The dust is everywhere, dancing in the air.
Tomorrow we go to battle
With our foam and card and love made words.
Tomorrow we kiss shoulder against
Shoulder and arm against shield
Like it is the sexiest damn thing
To ever happen to this tired world.
The prince will get his prince
And we will all win
And we will all be ink and flesh and
The day after tomorrow
The stories will start again.
Raphael Kabo is a slam poet, quiet poet, and writer, whose heart is split between too many places and people. He has been published in Burley, The Grapple Annual, and Gargouille, and performed at poetry slams in Australia and the UK. Having finished university last year, he is now relearning how to read for pleasure. Find out more about Raphael on his website.