Issue 22: Jeremy Gibson

woolwich flats

i sit in the shallows waiting for eels cross-legged on

the green mud at the margins of a lead smutted river


there’s a crowd of water as we brace ourselves on the

slime of an old ferry slipway waiting for eels themselves wild

silver rivers in cold green clay


so i walk slowly over the water to meet the river we aren’t much

like friends it won’t turn to answer


when the river’s my doorstep it holds me indoors in the other

room it’s eyes can rage mouth spit vinegar and on a shit day

like today hold me tight to its lips


on the days when the river  looks like uncooked liver over

knots of eels their eyes are compasses with a rusty nail

that spins to our lowest tides


the water is drowning a shadow of holes capturing clouds

unwelcome dreams and undone trees where the river takes hold


we are neighbours so i talk to them eels they don’t snitch but

i know they know that the holes  in the water are best


the eels watch from the flats as i sink in my clothes of silt i

lean into the drink mouth my last name to them and drift

into their grin

Jeremy Gibson is a language teacher and is now exploring poetry. He was born and raised in South-East London. This is his first published poem.

Copyright © 2019 by Jeremy Gibson, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.