Poetry: In Bocca al Lupo | clivejames.com
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In Bocca al Lupo

The airport has closed, the trains are frozen
        to their tracks, the Alps cold shoulder me and drop

a winter’s weight of snow into my lap. With my grappa headache
        I lounge on grammar books, flicking channels

and finding a rare programme free of hot pants, toupees,
        wet t-shirts. On a map of old Europe I watch the habitats

of the grey wolf shrink. Shot, poisoned, built
        out of existence and fucking up its DNA with the feral strays

of the towns padding into the countryside.
        Mist bristles its coat against the French windows

and I’m off again, making a little sleep
        to while away this time away from you while

the hotel car park disappears, the footprints of the Bergamaschi
        are snuffed out for the day. You slip through a distant door,

your basket laden with casoncelli, yellow cakes with marzipan larks
        pecking at the sponge, and a flask of local red–

for you when you tire, for her as she births into your snow-white
        hands. The television wakes me to static blue

and I see you at the window, face floating in the mist, nails
        scratching the glass, red lips fuller than of late.

Your basket melts a patch of stone on the step,
        stirs with the life inside.