An Agenda in a Green Zone
Liz Gallagher

Will is a flavour diluting under the tongue
or a blog keeper in a gelatinous state.
Semantic atrocities snipe at a peep-hole.
words that flare up in cap pistols
or tap-dance through the margins of political speeches.

He sometimes writes on plimsolls,
uses the hook of a hanger
and dabs the pads of his fingers
with methylated spirits.

He asks why they meet in the green zone
among those who pull strings from the inside of pockets.
And each new day is a wishbone snapped unevenly.

The ambulance comes twice,
a police escort for his wife paled on a stretcher.
She remarks about the sky being big.
She is reading about the politician who has lost his second jaguar,
he had been seen wrapping his secretary up in a Persian rug
while trying to dupe customs and excise into thinking
it was love for sale.

His neighbour says, “I want to walk to swell my knees
so that it will be easy for them to suck the liquid clear
and then I will show you how to make vanilla flan
for your sick wife.”

He hears the echo of a voice he knows,
but can’t place, singing.
Then he is at home,
flattening tin foil on a baking tray.
The radio says: “Normality will be resumed”
and he switches on the timer.