Poem in “The Moth” (Ireland)

The Moth

Inspector’s Field Notes on the Death of Robert James Moore

The Queen’s pruning tree surgeon
ambled into mossy bones. Fanned

leaves off a faded yellow stadium
cushion. A man had sat here, how

long? There was no ‘home’ to speak
of; no tent, no second pair of socks,

just the tree’s canopy leaking stars
dry vodka bottles lobbed into shrubs,

shattered on bank rocks. One, still
string-tied around its sandblasted-

glass throat, holstered to his hip belt
loop with a diaper-pin, so it couldn’t

be snatched when he went on a black
staycation. In some ways, he’s no

different than us…I mean, he had plans.
Flew over for love, staked a claim to

land. And all men deserve undying…
Trained as I am, I never got used to

lifting another man, parts in hand,
deft as sweeping a dusty room. The

brief encounter is an indignity to both
hand and groom. Across the river’s

short span, he’d have seen polo matches
lawn parties. motorcades stream out

and sputter back into dusk’s garage. A
voyeur believes his gaze sets scenes,

that the players need more than he
does. Did¬†Clerambault’s Syndrome

leave him believing The Queen’s
rituals were a form of conveyance?

That her flaming hat plumes were
semaphore? That she stomped out

morse code in her pastel pumps on
a red runner as she was ushered from

door to stair to door? It’s unfathomable
to think he hopped the wrought

gate. An anglerfish, dragged by her
beacon through ink, he must have

waded the lake from St. James Park
–the only way to reach this off-limit

inlet undetected. In his forest bed,
by implicit solvation, he fused his

heart with her estate.

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Notes