Memory

The weight of the rain cripples the name
of a person & place
once delicately traced,
like a a sketch by Toulouse-Lautrec;

all colour & movement, sweeping angles
tangled into a lie more real than the truth:

                                    who is that person now?

What do they dream about?

That the past is forever lost
is the only proof we have that it existed*,

                                    but the city,
the city stays standing:

poisonous giant always reneging
on its promise to keep us safe.

Just as memories will disappear
                                    so too will the city
& all those within it & all those yet to come.

Even the light will die in time
& nothing will remain of the elegant lines;
not yours or mine.

Our strange gift is to know this
                                    & then try

to accept it.

* J.M. Coetzee

Eros & Philia

For S

Your elegance, fluid movements of a dancer,
& your hair
                                    flowing in the wind.

The city lights conspiring to hide
the cold shimmer of starlight from our eyes;
walks together: a flower & it’s thorns,
sharing our thoughts, secrets, fears
                                    & feelings,

each the other’s mirror
using silk to remove any marks that
prevented us from seeing clearly &
the resulting electrostatic charge
binding us together.

                                    All of this
& more
is a gift,

and every poem I give you
is an attempt to make amends
for being only this
                                    unremarkable,

                                        undeserving mammal

you’ve chosen.

I remember…

For S

I can still taste the memory of those cold
December mornings,
when all I ever wanted
was to stay with the warmth of your body.

Or the Summer evenings when
you would rise, like a feline, from the bed
to describe the most perfect lines,
just by stretching your limbs,

& how the sunlight would slip
from a halo to fingertips
brushing against your skin.

Not Tonight

One hundred years of solitude, within one day,
between four walls.

The ever-returning thoughts of failure;
                                        red to ochre
bloodstains all over the wall,

then the one memory that broke your fall
returns
                                       as the pale shimmer
of a phosphorescent ghost…

No,

not tonight.

Anamnesis

So many rooms in so many houses;
spaces within which the walls have waited,
        unseeing,
            uncaring,
as I played various roles
in minor dramas,
some of my own devising,
        some not,
    & most
being incomplete.

I often forget the lines & sometimes
those of my own design
are the ones most easily forgotten…

So many days wanting to stay away
from this mess,
        this reluctance;
a daydream
of purposeful action
        that abandons me
            with every movement
around the Sun.

The fragility of everything; entropy
    seemingly inevitable
            & us,
                the animal
that will not be itself,
capable of knowing this all;

when words emerge to seek
a story worthy of
    acknowledging that beneath
        every surface

something waits to be
            misunderstood
        is
either serendipitous or fucked up:

The choice is yours.

The choice is mine,
           
        & I
            cannot decide…