Carol Frith

Contemporary Bells

The “I,” you say, is not me.

A misreading, I suppose: something savage

and quiet: contemporary bells,

at no point particular or strange —

A kind of gloss, you add, your face

a bubble of light against the flat, black


That, I tell you, is the medium.

We go there at noon, with sunglasses.

Inversions, you say…

I step away from you, half metrics at a time,

a long sadness in the troubled light.

Assonance, I think you tell me, and stress.

The sound itself is thin and promising.

We have moved into the lamplight.

Take this, you say, almost breathless,

Take this.

You place absolutely nothing in my hands.