On the dispersal of water
It’s 1:30 am.
He takes me away from the others unpacking,
opens the front door to the first night
in our first home and squirts WD-40
over both hinges, explains
WD is water dispersal,
NASA concocted this stuff
to keep fields of rockets
from turning orange, then burnt umber.
He heard this on his pocket radio
cycling along blustery North London roads
that cut between the reservoirs,
buffeted by daydreams of microwaves
and languorous AM waves,
walloped by the slipstreams of juggernauts
that don’t recognise bike lanes
on B roads where streetlights won’t work.
He holds up my key and lubricates it
with a quick squirt of the clear oil,
slips it still wet in the lock
to revitalise inner gubbins:
he knows all the proper names.
When I turn my back to come inside
this kind man takes the squeak from the gate.