you stand by the sill
studying the pewter cup
reading what it says
professional appraisal
of a personal treasure


we’ve often wished for teleportation
the means has been with us all along
I imagine you here, and here you are
you materialise by the sill
next to the ten green bottles
standing guard
over the figurine with a ball at its feet
and the pewter cup, which you pick up
holding its inscriptions to the light
you take it all in, at last
this study full of objects
while awaiting my return
with cut glass sparkles and kisses headier still
the professional dealer in personal artefacts
you read me and the past
in every one of them
the shopkeeper from Mr Benn
the empty jar of Devil’s Revenge mustard
full of now redundant paperclips
and the key to wind a stopped clock
speaking of which
the tankard was my grandfather’s
white-haired, black-bespectacled
a quiet moustache lining his stiff upper lip
signalling mild post-war aspiration
this the prize for a competitive victory within his means
you are in the presence of my family line
as I have been in yours, then and when
seeing your grandad play tap-room dominoes
in words which brought him and a miner named Neville
fresh back to life
truly, I say, as I take the pewter from your hands
putting Glera in one and mine in the other
these are superpowers of ours
capable of besting any enemy
that space or time might care to array against us –
teleportation, imagination, reincarnation, and love
(the greatest of these)
back to back or mouth to mouth
we are invincible


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