Eddie Gibbons

The future yawns like a door
opening in a strange town.
You step through it.
You lay your suitcase down
and unpack your desires.

This is the town in your dreams.
Your hotel room looks onto
an unlit street, where you catch
a glimpse of the past, shuffling
its tawdry husk round a corner.

There are muffled cries from
the room next door. It is your
parents having endless orgasms.
You've never thought of them
this way before. You grab a razor

and shave the five o'clock
shadow from your six o'clock neck.
The clock itself is shamefaced and
hides behind its hands. You tick
it off for all the unkind years.

Room service arrives with invitations
from all your unrequited loves.
You enquire about the names
on the cards. You've never met these
people, but it seems they know you.

The noises from the next room
have stopped. The silence startles.
Your parents are buried
beneath a quilt, children again,
breathing clouds of forgetfulness.

It seems that the wallpaper
is newspaper from another planet.
Closer inspection renders it as
the story of your life in every
language but your own.

Your clothes belong to a stranger.
You see your image in the shoes.
So this is the future face into which
the more familiar one is growing?
Mirrors shatter all around.

Sounds surf through an open window.
Below is the pageant of your childhood:
figures hopscotch through rings of roses;
several fall and bleed while others chant.
A child is eating a bucket of ashes.

The bare bulb on the ceiling flickers
its dull morse. The wallpaper peels
to reveal a starry sky. This is the future:
your father and mother walk quietly
to their graves. They turn and wave.