A brief history of failing to pay attention…

After these two years I have learnt

how to follow every step down the hall

every right angle of every wall,

to walk toward the shower/shitter

in darkness: I could make the walk

with my eyes closed.

 

Two years ago – February 

14th – such a lovely Valentine gift! –

I moved in to this house of unloved things

& became one of them.

Until gold & blue colours, like

bright sunlight meeting an ocean,

appeared at my door.

 

Soon, every week we broke the law,

as society locked-down I crossed town

so we could spend days & nights

drinking together, fucking each other

as if there would be no tomorrow

& not caring if there would be.

Then the weeks

became months; the winter

 

crawled through spring & became summer.

All the while I pined for another: my

wildflower amour, my amante, the one

who sent me into exile & into

this house with its smell of neglect,

self-pity & cigarette smoke. Until

one day they returned offering

to satiate the longing for 

sweet nostalgia.

 

So began the slow destruction

of the peace I’d found within

ocean eyes: I betrayed & followed

the path back to my life before exile

but of course, it couldn’t last:

it was doomed from the start & that

is when I met the raven with the soul

of a van Gough landscape,

but by then it was too late & escape

was all I craved…

 

Until raven hair, red rose lips,

delicate fingertips & such forgiving eyes

 

fell to find release

in a blue so ugly compared to

 

the sky in which she used to fly…

 

For the one I hardly knew. Forgive me, I don’t know what else to do…

 

Today I read the last words you ever wrote:

it was a diary of your feelings

& the last page your last poem…

 

You wrote so beautifully about the sky between

sentences expressing a tiredness so deep

you just wanted to die.


Knowing I failed to help you lift your head

more often; to help ease your burden;

to love you as you deserved to be.

 

Now there is no way to say sorry

& stay with you in that other world

you wrote of in that final poem.


One you wrote for me…

I’m just some stupid fucking drunk,

an idiot, rare & wild only to you,


yet even I could see with these

eyes of “ever changing colour”

how delicately, intricately woven you were

before you untied the threads

& left.

 

The Funeral

I tried smiling at your funeral,

to avoid the choking weeds of grief.


Breathing trees

no longer naked,

their limbs veiling then revealing 

a diamond-clear sky,

stood beside the road leading

to the building where your family was mourning.

  

(When she asked me where you’d gone, 

I told your daughter you had

become one with nature;


every flower,

the lambent limbs of sunlight

& all those dignified trees, 

believing

you would like that answer.


I hope I wasn’t wrong.)


A vodka (double vodka) before

the eulogy, 

& another 

(& another) after

it was over.


Then, outside: cold bright sunlight,

dreaming of you dancing; 


the prosody of your body,

singing,

your lips the colour of exoctic fruit,

as roses red & white

flowed from your hips,

replacing the weeds &

loosening their grip,

 

just long enough to bring 

some small relief


from the reality of your absence.


Yet there was nothing except

 

the brutal eloquence


of silence.

I looked through some old photos

& the memories surfaced like

smoke from a furnace;

up from the chest & through the throat

to find a home behind the eyes..

 

When our hands have searched & found

the feelings we wish to drown;

when our dreams creep & crawl along the night

into the darkest corners where 

creatures hide;


when

the words become sounds unbound

from meaning & only vague feeling

remains:


then, maybe

we can finally become free.

Regret

There are words written by

two women I used to know

 

& shamefully I must admit

that I did not give

either the true gift of attention:

 

they knew me but I could not see

beyond the boundary of my affliction;

a selfish sadness

 

destroying everything..

 

From Saint Christopher

to Blue John Stones,

they gave me everything

 

& with that grace, with those

prayers I drank & laughed

 

& let each future be

consumed by the past.