the weekly

The Cleaner

“Make sure that you are clean, your clothes are clean, even your shoes” - last instructions to the WTC bombers
I have polished my boots.
They are so clean, I can see
how dull my eyes are.
I have polished my eyes.
They are so clean, I can sense
how tense my mouth is.
I have polished my mouth.
It closes cleanly on a transparent cargo of words.
I have polished my words.
They are so clean, they fill
my heart's spent ventricles.
I have polished my heart.
My heart is so clean. It is
in my boots.

The Cleaner

This poem was first published in the wake of '9/11', in October 2001 in New Statesman. It was based on an image of Mohammed Atta.

6 September 2011


Home/Join | List | Next | Previous | Random