A wooden javelin, midway through my paunch,
lost me my life.
I somersault in a tank of boiling blood
with an arrow through my heart
pointing ‘this way up’.
The facility was installed below
Moscow’s Dante Alighieri Library
following a large endowment.
Nine floors up, and over the door
a sign says ‘Please keep
as many petals as genitals on each bed.’
Someone has crossed out ‘petals’
and put ‘razors’ instead.
One level between these two is empty
save for a thin slab of ice on the floor
scratched with ‘WATER BOARD’.
A life, midway through my shade,
will grow in the form of a dark tree.
Chris Kerr’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Ambit, Oxford Poetry and Under the Radar. He is a trustee of Magma Poetry and has guest edited an issue of Meniscus.