James Roberts

Cigarette

Lift leaf
with fingertip.
Fill, roll, lick.

Then flick, click
teeth and flint
grit.

Flame bobs, quivers
steadies
sits.

Both held, one desires
the other
touch it.

So in turn, paper singes
For a second first.
Then burns.

Spark, crackle
paper crisped.

Purse lips
pull deep
and the long exhale.

You’re held,
grounded.
For that moment.


Bus Ride in December

Red dot needles.
Outlines
of masts
on moortops.

Rolls of orange
pinprick glints
that stop
and leave clear space.

Before the barren rise
night’s dark
devours the hill line,
the details.

Aside of streetlamps
and the blinked
warning lights,
only the horizon

above urban glow,
which tricks life aviary
into belief that it is day,
offers navigation.

I don’t need it, though.
as the bus coasts.
I’m not knee deep in mud
compass handed

but sat silently
relaxed, nib scratching.
The driver knows
where to go.


Bio

James Roberts is a poet from Bradford. He’s spent the last two years working on longer writing projects about Catalonia and events in the Calais border zone, but also enjoys writing short, simple pieces. As well as Peeking Cat he has previously been published in Anti Heroin Chic and Route 57.

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