Richard Price

Richard Price‘s collections include Lucky Day, Greenfields, Rays, and the award-winning Small World, all published by Carcanet. His next collection, Moon for Sale, is a series of sensual shape-shifting poems, a dreamscape with the global crisis as unsettling backdrop. He is the Head of Contemporary British Collections at the British Library.


Late enough


Ancient candles at modern tables –
brand new couples, shy, un-
Late enough to pray for luck.
Late enough to think it’s love.

(Late enough for truth and trust. Late enough for truth and touch.)

Gentle light, eyes glimpsing eyes. Gentle light won’t criticise.
Grave –
as “Here’s to laughter, here’s to dance.”
Here’s to cheers and here’s to chance.
Here’s to phone light – being forgotten.
Here’s to the moon – cream lace, cream cotton.
Here’s to home, to soften… gentler light, eyes meeting eyes.

Gentle light, bless this life.

It’s just not safe to crave this glow. It’s just not safe – I should know.
Yet intimate risks
a whispered promise. Intimate is skin,
is honest.

(Late enough to praise close up. Late enough to think it’s love.)

Late enough to let light leave.
Late enough to hear her breathe.
As if light was all the other senses, darkness lush with recompenses –
taste and touch and blush-warm scent.
As if this world were somehow meant.

Late enough for truth and trust.
Late enough to know it’s love.

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