Postcards From Malthusia DAY EIGHTY-TWO: Steve Perfect

Empty Carpark, Dusk

In half-light, what we take to be the outline
of an exit could be the elongated shape
of anything forgotten; or anything
that lingers in the cool reserves
where hopes are put away.
Easing through tulips, that flare
where they were planted in another time,
shadow spreads across the tarmac,
shrouds the gathering of dust,
and captures vacant spaces one by one.
We walk in search of truths or half-truths
clustered in the moments that expand
to fill the evening before darkness is complete.

The elongated shape is just a matter
of perspective: when we turn it disappears.
Signs look exactly as they did before,
but what they say has changed.
We pass by open windows spilling voices
on the air, the sound of crisis talks,
for all we know, held beneath the breath
of interested parties, shedding spores
whose progeny, as yet unknown,
will lodge in all our lives. Hand in hand,
we walk as street lights flicker
their infatuating code across the blossom
of a cherry. Nightfall creeps along the edge.



Steve Perfect is a writer and artist living and working in south London. He has a particular interest in peripheral landscape. His artist’s books are in the collections of Tate, the V+A and the National Poetry Library.


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