Silvius Bonus, Visa Overseer

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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
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.