Silvius Bonus, Visa Overseer

Round shore-forts now unfit to fend off Saxons
the ancient woods advance contravallations.
The dead queue up here, as real as the living.
I can treat with either at leisure, fearing
neither blame nor approval. The applicants
detained to fast track their claims are clean, pliant,
focused, souls insensate, minds happily busy.
I can retreat to fantasies or sally
out towards them, yes, use facilities
to grant asylum, kick them into the long grass,
make flat refusals, shuffle papers, doss,
imagine heaven’s reception desks, a siege
peopled with bottom grade white collar staff
whose shirts are isabelline yellow, cuffs
week-old-Salade-Niçoise-boiled-egg-beige.
But grandiose and crude, the liturgy
is much at work in queues: humans at once
useless, neighbourly, the collimated
light sticky with burnt sugar, powdered bone,
downdrafted ozone forecasting the storms,
the comfort of each atomising wave.

James Brookes

James Brookes

James Brookes grew up in rural Sussex in the United Kingdom. He is presently studying at Boston University, where he is a recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and a Robert Fitzgerald Prize for Translation. His most recent book, Spoils, was published in 2018.
James Brookes

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Author: James Brookes

James Brookes grew up in rural Sussex in the United Kingdom. He is presently studying at Boston University, where he is a recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and a Robert Fitzgerald Prize for Translation. His most recent book, Spoils, was published in 2018.