Where new writing finds its voice

In Memoriam

Matt Bryden

He fell through the train door
administering a citizen’s
Heimlich manoeuvre
to a man in a wheelchair
choking on a gobstopper.

I still have it, wrapped 
like a mouthful of expressed milk
in gluey tissue

and this,
an invitation to his seventieth, done
with all due decorum – quills, ornamentation
around a white slab of space
on which is stamped his name.

He had in his pockets a yo-yo, slip-knotted
to noose the finger, in the design of a race-car wheel,
a pack of Horror Top Trumps, a thimble
and tickets from a thousand trips to the village
on FirstBus, 
a bracelet missing the buckle, a photograph, recent,
of a tattooed yin and yang stamped on someone’s inner wrist,
its tail ends not completing the circle

still recall how he danced on a rock at Brighton
facing the sea, and several hours later stepped down
to a spontaneous ovation from the beach.
It was getting dawn. Our clothes were salt with spray.