Yehudi Lights by Simon Cockle

You can’t see me.
An expansive actor,
I leer at you between the footlights
from the precipice of downstage
but I match the set design,
have become the scenery.

Now I am above:
do not try to pick me out,
it just can’t be done.
I blend into sky and clouds,
becoming one
with the oneness of it all.

The drone gives me away
but I can dive at a moment’s notice;
the faux propellers scream
like metal under duress.
This is a disguise,
is hiding in plain sight.

I am the antiseptic clarity
of the dentist’s lamp, the headlights
that speed round the bend
in the night of the short death,
the light on the bedside table
to show where it goes.

My brilliance wrong-foots you;
I am approaching God,
the invisible cross that hovers above.
My genesis, as you ask,
was always a secret;
Project Stealth, X-fighters, silver and riveting.

Remote neural testing
that coerced a Russian housewife to draw a cherry tree
while an operative sat in a condo in Florida
with a painting collapsed in his mind.
Wires everywhere and the tickertape spitting,
the oscillator waves and the Chesterfield pack.

She may have picked up the whirr
of the fan swivelling around or
was it the sound of her new fridge,
payment in lieu of silence?
My briefcase is fat with microfiche but
I’m endlessly redacted deleted redacted.

I’m a trick of the mind
built with set squares and coffee-stained log books
of cosine and sine, and the soldering iron.
Look for me, reach out and touch my parameters;
I am always watching through rolls of barbed-wire,
officially AWOL, but vigorously denied.

Think of me, softly, from time to time,
as I fly along the edge of space unseen
between the satellites and the stars.
With the lights out, I’m all yours
but, at the flick of a switch,
it’s like I never existed.

Simon Cockle is a poet and writer from Hertfordshire. He writes as part of Poetry ID, a Stanza of the Poetry Society. His poems have been published in iOTA, the London Progressive Journal and Pantheon Magazine, amongst others. He was invited to read at this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival as part of the Poetica Botanica event. He teaches English in a local comprehensive school, and has a wife and daughter who nod reassuringly when he reads them his poems.

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