Nothing

Summer:

a late evening sky as you wait

for something, for nothing;

you understand what that

“certain slant of sunlight” truely is &

know you won’t ever need to explain why



all art is a beautful lie

containing multitudes of meaning…yet

even as the years grow unheeded

still you can’t decide between believing

“Une vie pourrie vaut mieux qu’une putain d’illusion”

or if beatiful lies are sometimes truths

in disguise…

 

but for now there is only the fading

colours of the sun &

in this moment, that is enough. 

 

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,

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 feelings

& images remain,

 

What happens then?

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.

In the sunlight

& then when
I awoke
the morning light made me choke as
I remembered
how the gentle susurration blended
with the birdsong & the light began to
curve like the branches above us
to touch,
briefly,
skin within which poison blends with pollen
& flowers blossom before I pluck them
to place in your hair where
they will wither & die.

The past still lingers in the present,
& refuses to leave with the grace
of living things.

This is what regret means:
never to forget someone
or something;
knowing of all the lives that could have been;

to touch,
briefly,
your skin

for the last time.