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Later he tries to explain
the turquoise joy, at ten,
of that first Rangers strip;
his birthday-fingers skidding
on the wrapping’s brittle ice.

It’s occult, such a shock
of cloth – the sweet, sheer blue
enough to make his teeth ache.
Hard to bear the perfect interval
of white trim at the neck: the brisk

heroic V whose yearning geometry
fits just so. It’s a humbling ratio,
along the lines of football: stadium;
wee boy: the goals of men. But he’s
already elsewhere. And of course

he thinks I wouldn’t understand:
I’m pointing like a school-marm
everywhere but at myself. Look –
was the blue like this? I say. Or
this? Well, was it? Anything like this?