by Harry Man
Wash all contaminated clothes.
Carry plenty of water, protect your feet.
Nothing beats a gas mask,
practice before you protest
at getting it on quickly.
Bring tongue depressors
or hairbrush handles,
or anything that can be used
to splint a fracture.
Wear nothing that can be grabbed.
Document police brutality
using pen and paper and a wristwatch.
Find shatter-resistant eye protection
or use glue to seal up holes in your goggles.
Canisters are hot to the touch.
Painkillers are self-explanatory.
Dissolve antacids into spray bottles
to help cleaning your eyes.
Soak your bandannas
in lemon juice and charcoal.
Keep plenty of spares,
including a plastic bag of extra clothes.
and in case of arrest, prescriptions.
Use no Vaseline, or moisturisers.
Wear no contact lenses.
Bring canola oil and alcohol
this is for rinsing your skin.
Wear long sleeve clothing,
cinch at the feet and wrists.
Crack open a couple of onions
under your nose
to alleviate symptoms.
Stay upwind of the gas.
Harry Man was born in 1982, and is a poet from South London. His poetry has appeared in New Welsh Review, Popshot Magazine, Elbow Room and the Morning Star among other places. His first pamphlet Lift is forthcoming from Tall Lighthouse. You can find more of his work at www.manmadebooks.co.uk