duck tusks

”Pain is truth; all else is subject to doubt.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

                                                   we saw his head see circles as it fell.

the elephant in the room turns
its tusks towards the sun. this is a duck
crafted from gold, the buoy i must
inflate – i swim to it.

my nails barely make a clik ting
when i realise the kuap kap
kiap- ah shit, i should have reached
for thick skin instead but this is what i saw.

                                  but my hands, they had been behind my back

to have a gnawing not your own is
guilt’s webbed feet, it goes swoosh
swoossawoosh to keep up, keep
you up, till the colour smushes 

fingers like a Midas spiak fiewm.
i can only envision a step-ball-
change to the trunk that stores
exit, bla biash bleugh into untruth:

                                                    his head was in your lap when it fell

from the elephant’s mouth. the duck is
germinating tusks and grey skin
fold after fold replacing gold
still afloat, the yak yap armoured now

with blood and script, tuned to the
resonance of repetition, of you you
you and your lie lie lie till you lie
down down with that lie now:

                                                    his head, it was in my lap when it fell

it was at the tuck of dusk
i confessed to what i had not done.
the sun turning away from boom
boom corhk!, watering its mile-long nose

                                                                          under my hand and it fell.


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