: Summons

European Courts have ruled it legal for companies

to monitor private communications made by their employees

because they own not only your labour but your language

and next, your thoughts and your breath, the sigh you make

when you see something pretty and wish it into the mind

of someone you love will now arrive in their senses

marked by the company logo and carried in a box

you have to sign for at the front door wearing your pyjamas

before you’ve had time to brush your hair or clean your teeth


the delivery man might have been interested

if you’d had time to doll yourself up, but too late now

wishing you a good morning Ma’am, and walking

back to his van like it was a horse

and he was John fucking Wayne

fighting communism or something. You should have

asked him if he wanted coffee. How many sugars?


You think there’s some biscuits in a tin

if he’d like you to look?


Stretch up towards the top shelf

so he can see your tummy, not too fat even after Christmas.


Steven Taylor was born in Hyde near Manchester. He now lives in Kilburn, north London. He has had over 500 poems published in magazines and collections across the world.

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