Mi fea, eres una castaña despeinada*

For S

Far above us

the Sun burns
                
fierce & uncaring;

a soundless scream of light
in infinite darkness….

but down here,
                        where we’re hiding,
the firmament of our world
is the bedroom window
& the Sun has become
lambent limbs of gold,
                        reaching out
to garland us
                        with sepia tones…

…but then
biology disrupts this reverie:

you need to piss.
                           
If, in this poem
I wanted to make you a goddess;
                        an image
that could represent everything from blue
                        to red,
I wouldn’t include your need to piss,

but I did it anyway because you
asked me to, in your humble &
                        beautiful way,
try not to make you
poetic & perfect
but instead
write about you as you really are,
complete with all your flaws.

This is the best that I could accomplish.

Do you like it?

 

*Sonnet XX – Pablo Neruda

Our Silences

For S

“The moment exists only in silence…” – Søren Kierkegaard

I like our silences,
        those shared moments
beyond the hungry gaze, into
a simple but absolute
                    attention.

I like it when we’re quiet
        because then, when
our eyes meet & I see you seeing me,
I can believe
        in the existence
            of what you see.

Your silence is still & speaks to me
like star-light speaks of intense heat;
defined by distance & perspective,
        a secret
            revealed in concealment,
traverses immense distance
to bring warmth,
        colour
            & life.

In silence, as in soil,
slow roots grow strong,
& the dilation of every second
            endures beyond
the depraved authority of time: we
cease to be a complex pattern
            woven from
                a fabric of neurons
& electrostatic dreaming,
                    
to become

something more,
something I am only sure exists when
we twist together beneath the sheets,
sharing our body heat,
giving the prayer of our attention*
seeing beyond the iris reflection,
to where it lays waiting

                in the silence.

* Attention and Will – Simone Weil

Sheltered & Protected

We are all nothing more than a movement
within a motion of water
forming currents in the ocean;

we are
insignificant.

Thrown into consciousness,
left alone with this ancient

        incomprehension,

& the glacial erasure of indifference;
the unutterable excess & erosion
    of existence.

Each
        confrontation
with the void,
        inside & beyond
             time & space;
every spin of the wheel
depletes a small piece…

                    …but I am not alone:
you are here too,
& as the opalescent light of your eyes,
        open wide,
all I see
        is this moment;

all that exists
is the two of us together,
        laying here
below my bedroom window,

sheltered & protected
            beneath rainfall music…

What we cannot talk about…

“Was sich überhaupt sagen lässt, lässt sich klar sagen; und wovon man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Words as thoughts,
as the libidinal urge
of consciousness.

Words as the sound of thoughts that drown
trying to escape the cave,
through the mouth.

Words as inert, lifeless objects
that become the conduit
for what I want to believe:

that thought is feeling, & feeling
has meaning beyond the context of this
place where we must exist;

that we can learn to live in peace
with the silence that speaks from beyond the symbol;

that brushing my fingers along your cheek
            down to your collarbone,
                without ever needing to speak,

you know what I'm trying to say…

A Beautiful Lie

For S

I can't stand the thought
            of those
white roses
I've placed over your eyelids
             dying,
      as all things must…

but

death is just a perspective trick:

there is only change;
                nothing can stay the same
                        forever:

permanence is impossible…

but

when my fingertips traverse your skin, when
you look at me & truly see;
when you give the grace of your love,

I despise truth.

I want to believe a beautiful lie,
one big enough
        for us both to climb inside
                together:

two ancient creatures enclosed in amber
        our limbs
            entangled
                forever…

Uncertain & Afraid

For S.

Last night I woke up & mistook
        your tresses
            the for fallen
        golden leaves
            of Autumn,
we were collecting for reasons
I forgot the instant I tried
to recall them…

…all that
        I remember was
the way we walked through a forest
admiring the gracious way
            that trees decay…

Do you remember last Autumn?

How we were fighting
to forgive each other for reasons
we needed
       to believe in
            without understanding,

like the words of a foreign song
playing in the distance?

We will die
whether we love each other or not*,
        but
            without forgiveness
we’re all fucked,

& love has to wait for hatred
& petty resentment
    to be
        castrated by
            humility.

All we have are voices
        defenceless
            against the night,
but when the weight of you body
        presses against me
the darkness ceases to be
        so deep…

So will you wait for me,
        & can we

            forgive ourselves?

* September 1, 1939 – W. H. Auden

Pause, & add your own intentions…

You found me at the worst possible time,
but only in the sense in which a dog-walker finds
a corpse in the woods:

        It wasn’t your fault.

The words in this verse are replacing
the excuses I’d prepared for presentation:
words about falling, & nihilism &
other self-pitying bullshit trying
        to play tragic…
but the truth
        is never quite so ornate
as I’d like to make it…

I told you that I’d become a mistake.

But that doesn’t make it ok…

I remember you as
vulnerable insolence &
timorous intelligence but
I was too selfish to realise how
much attention you gave to my words &
how little you understood about my
actions:

        your skin
compelled me to write a poem across
the inside of your left thigh
            & I think
you found it charming.

That poem had been written for someone else…

Attention is the rarest & purest
form of generosity*: you
    gave it to me
        & I what did I
give back to you?

Nothing:

it wasn't that I didn't care
it was just that I hated everything…

So this
is an attempt to apologise
        for the ugliness
by replacing it
        with failed attempt at elegance.

& that still doesn’t make it ok…

* Simone Weil

Meena Muska

Seperation, you set fire
in the heart & home of every lover. – Traditional Afghan Landay

The blue horizon of your eyes tricked me:
a mirage or sanctuary?

I can’t decide.

But,

last night,
        the blue horizon of your eyes
            came to me
in a dream,
 
Purple carnations brushed against
my face,
        you were careful
not to press too hard,
        just in case
I awoke at the moment of your
    betrayal, which
        in time,
            became a gift:

Even though
it filled me with sadness,
        now that our distance has
            multiplied across space & time,

I now know that
beyond the blue horizon of your eyes
the real sky reveals itself…

Your Daughter

For S.

You tell me that she was a breech-birth. I’d
always thought that was worse
        but
            you say
it was easier that way;
didn’t hurt
as much as the first time,
            when your Son was born.

She is two & a half years old.

She’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen,
& I used to fucking detest
        the word “adorable”,
            especially
                if it was ever used
to describe me.

When I tell you this, it makes you laugh:

“You’re not adorable!
Sweet,
        maybe,
but only sometimes, & sweet like
liquorice: a weird,
        acquired taste”.

We’ve stayed awake far too late tonight,
drinking red wine
        & talking
            about our lives.

I once believed we were defined entirely by
the roles we play in a stupid fucking game,
        & that neither the rules
            nor the roles could
ever change but

when you leave me,
        briefly,
to check on the children,
            I realise
that I was wrong:

You’ve changed me completely:
        
I don’t believe
that this is a game any more;
        now,
            I see it as a dream
                waiting

to be realised.

Bonne nuit mon amour

For S.

Dors bien ma belle chérie,
    je t’aime beaucoup.

Sans toi, je ne serais rien…

…sometimes
it feels as if all I can give
to be worthy of your love is
    words
        & sometimes
words are just not enough:

    they cannot convey,
        can’t create,
the tangible texture
    of what it is
that you mean to me.

“I love you”
    or
        “Je t’aime”:

Neither one
    is sufficient,

because what exists between us
    is far beyond the influence
of words.

It’s something I cannot express;
    something
I don’t fully understand, &
        so all I can give you
are these paltry words,
  to demonstrate my belief
that I love you
    & that you love me:

ma foi que je t’aime,
& tu m’aimes
    aussi:

Dors bien ma belle chériee…