Printers’ Type

Somewhere still a machine
draws red margins

on a page like this one.
Strung up and dipped

in ink, it is a loom for lines.
An apprentice scrubs

its colour from his hands
slicks hair back with pomade


is ready for the dance.
Hours later his girl leaves – heat

drew out the ink – his palm imprints her rear.
The oncologist too

will guess his job, in what
the x-ray will reveal. But that

is years away. For now, head
full of the girl, he returns to a trade

busy marking up his future.