Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Black Lagoon – Abigail Parry

Black Lagoon


‘Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of a man-fish.’  
But what did they tell you, Lucas?  
Out of the murk and mystery – 
was I all pleats and webbing, spats and pipes, my wet heart 
thrashing for lovely Julia Adams? 
I live here all alone.  The water looks like screens look after 
everyone’s gone home.   
 	Don’t you know me, Lucas?  Don’t you recognise  	this place?  
That flarestick I means nothing here,  
 	your beacon name’s a dud.  Who’s this  	who walks the 
bank?  And who could say 
 	what backlit tricks the mirror plays   	with lights and cameras 
muffled for the night?    
The Amazon chugs turpid gold and greens 
through California’s glitz – smiles, tinsel,  
yesses, fizz – the extras stick their tacky skin 
to plastic slats of loungers.  Oh Julie, Rita, Kay –  
each night, in phosphorene, you’ve loved the lot – hot, pliant, all lit up
like slot machines. 
 	Lucas, when they named you, did they say 
 	what draglines ran below?  What languid things 
 	resisted in the current?  Oh Lucas, did they say  	that each man 
has his double in the dark?   
 	And when I climbed aboard, what else  	was struggling, 
upwards, gagging on the light?