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
but for now there is only the fading
colours of the sun &
in this moment, that is enough.
I tried smiling at your funeral,
to avoid the choking weeds of grief.
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;
the lambent limbs of sunlight
& all those dignified trees,
you would like that answer.
I hope I wasn’t wrong.)
A vodka (double vodka) before
(& another) after
it was over.
Then, outside: cold bright sunlight,
dreaming of you dancing;
the prosody of your body,
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
& 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
the words become sounds unbound
from meaning only vague feelings
& images remain,
What happens then?
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
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.
& then when
the morning light made me choke as
how the gentle susurration blended
with the birdsong & the light began to
curve like the branches above us
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
knowing of all the lives that could have been;
for the last time.