Red Rock Café
The mouths of serpents are irises
showing off scarlet seeds, wagging
their anger at encroaching trains,
looking for somewhere to spit.
Two bicycles prop a sea wall,
one for Mr Café man who clips bramble,
one for Mrs Iris Café active
with wire wool to erase the chalk
of yesterday’s menu; forever
scraping at her memories.
Her accent - that’ll be one pound ten, dear,
doesn’t belong, neither does his earring,
nor the lobe, the cold-weathered skin, close-
shaved head and hard urban look through his eyes.
They have escaped the past they think;
the railway lines that brought them - before them;
their seaside café kiosk behind,
with the succulent covered red rock block,
brown sand and the edge of the world
where a dying sea laps.
The mouths of a serpent and Iris
spit, look at us now ay, squeezed
between yesterday and eternity
like the mouths of serpents
that are irises that wag;
mauve grey flags forgotten in the waste.