POETRY ... Michael Symmons ROBERTS
“Angel of the Perfumes”
Michael Symmons Roberts
From the night-shift cement works,
dust built on fields, seeped
into buildings, coughed me awake.
It fused with fallen rain
to make a crust so thin one heel
could break the landscape open.
I held my breath
the sheet pulled up across my face,
afraid my lungs would set.
When you awoke the dust
cleared, I heard dawn crack
smelt on your hands burst
Fruit. Old skins, bruised black,
you split with thumbnails, found
seeds of new bodies, inside intact.
From Michael Symmons Roberts’s Soft Keys (Faber & Faber, 1993)
ROBERTS Michael Symmons [1963-] Poet, novelist. Born in Preston, Lancashire, England. NOVEL Patrick’s Alphabet (2006) POETRY Corpus (2004: winner of the 2004 Whitbread Award for Poetry; shortlisted for the 2004 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection, the 2004 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize); Burning Babylon (2001: shortlisted for the 2001 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry); Raising Sparks (1999); Soft Keys (1993)