Hello, I'm Visiting The Area On Behalf Of Amnesty International

Poem By Sam Riviere

The world's a pretty scary place and sometimes it seems hopeless,
but it's good to try and make a difference. . . I say my piece
to the twins in sloppy jumpers and blue jeans who answered the door
of their tall, odd house at the top of the hill, but fluff my rhythm
when they swap an honest, amused look and toss their fringes,
each moving her arm on the banister, and I can't help but think
about the long, intimate evenings this September when they sit
on the floor of their blue bedroom, one sketching faces she dreamt,
the other listening on headphones to dead singers from the seventies
while their father, a professor of classics, marks PhDs in his basement
- imagine the suppers of salad and lasagne we could share
in the dim kitchen, the girls showing me their mother's drawings
who died gifting the world with these warm and witty sisters
who'd give anything to know her, and still bake a pink cake
for her birthday, while their father smiles faintly at the paper,
talks of gods and cats, his hands shaking slightly from nerves,
and later I'd take the spare room looking over south-east London,
the park slanted with swings and shadows, the houses staggered
on the hill, where the sun reads from a line of windows, I'd read
till I was tired, and no longer heard the twins' voices in the attic,
their laughter, high and heavy, leaving through the skylight.

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Other poems of RIVIERE

Dream Poem

I know what you're thinking
it's dull unless they're sex dreams
dreams about violent murders
mine are pretty banal

The Sweet New Style

she looks out of her
photos let's call her emma
with a mute appeal that might
mean something like 'whenever

Year of the Rabbit

there is no purer form of advertising
than writing a poem
that's what the monk told me
if I were a conceptual artist

The Council of Girls

Today I stand before you
uncertain of my guilt
of what I am accused
or should say sorry for

Personal Statement

hi i should like to have the answers
to shall we say certain questions
and to wake up certain of directions
and a levelness of breathing and

My Face Saw Her Magazine

across the moonscapes of skateparks you are 13 yrs old
& no longer allowed to play with boys / on platform 6
wearing your amazing cape you are not in fact you
but someone else / while I'm a guy who mishears lyrics