the nostalgic bathing-machine

the trees have ears
like hands joined at the bottom of a lake
or a poem scrawled on a yellowed paper fan
in the pause that precedes the single ray of dawn

weathered and only occasionally gasping for air
the last bus that ran before the wind
gathered its legs to its chin and coughed on the hills
scattering diamonds of blue paper
to the hot earth and the somewhat cooler sun

for some men live for umbrellas while others die
in a far country haunted by lidless eyes
and the scent of magnolia wafts from their open graves

we spent a year in counting the shrivelled heads
that we found each morning under our counterpane
their favourite water is air and their favourite shirt
an embarrassing shade of pink

time hangs in loops from the telephone wires
and tangles its wings and its matches in our hair

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