Poseidon on an Oban Bench

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

She scraped the chippie box off her blue jeans,
squeaked the plastic fork from the polystyrene,
dotted the sea air with vinegar and steam
and parted the batter, slid it off like frogskin.

The antiseptic smell of exposed, white, hot fish
was everywhere along the pier. Haircuts began to itch
as the scents lifted. My neck went greasy and stiff
and she smiled cleanly, nodded past my face:

a seagull trod air behind my shoulder, impatient
with a slate-hard, orange, downturned bill waiting
for its moment. I was close to its eye.
I almost kissed the bird in fight or flight but then
with a sharp splash and a salt mist the girl was gone.

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Dead Pigeon

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2012

Dear dead pigeon in the Longfield car park,
you’re not looking so good.
You’re spread-eagle, your neck to one side,
your deft little wings mechanically unveiled,
your collar cracked over, your beak barely perched
on the tarmac it scratched

I don’t want to move you.
It’s cold.
I

‘m worried about touching
your treadmarked breast, the rubber that stamped out
your pretty-in-miniature pastel painted entrails,
your swan-song, dashed through and sputtered beside
your squat, etched icon body.
Dead, bleached, ugly and unremarkable.

I don’t want to go on.
I just came to see if
Iceland was open at night.