After the shovels of precipitation
had doused the heat that broke the gauge
the rainstorm relinquishes all but its last
offer of water, this shrivelled piece of lake:
over its steamy skin of brilliance I crane
as if I am suspended in air and space
and seem to be thirty, no, forty metres tall:
among the tall buildings, I think I can say
a reflection is the wavefront that refracts
at the point where two media meet and gaze
at one another in a surface tension.
But what makes the water shrink or spread
and then stop? It may be that (… though
here I seem to pause in hesitation)
the forces of attraction between them make
the puddle grip road or road the puddle
that steams with a picture of light. Oh look
at the perpendicularity of my legs:
my boots are huge and the sky is all blue
and I have loops of cloud arranging and tying
like flowers in my electromotive hair.
Tim Liardet is the author of ten collections including“The World Before Snow”. “Arcimboldo’s Bulldog: New and Selected Poems” was published by Carcanet in 2018.
This article appears in the 27 Mar 2019 issue of the New Statesman, Guilty