We were 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
curved like the branches above us
to touch.
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 die with the grace
of living things.

Is this why I regret everything?

Momento from the full moon

For A

I loved someone,
in the same way,
& for the same reason
I love the moon:

you don’t need to see it every day,
to know that you’ll see it again;
you can’t always see it, but
you know it’ll always be there…

…& then
months became years & those years
became the unnoticed mouldering kiss;
a distance turning stale,
old & cold as the
empty bed.

So lonely not knowing how to explain
until too late,
& strange to find how changed
the feeling is when found again;

the pain so far away

just like the Moon.

Constant inconstancy

It isn’t the same, it
                        can never stay the same.

No grass seeds always ready to
raise their blades again, only

Slow or sudden,
willed or unbidden,
                        there is only change

& nothing else.

Habit & time,
                        being & repetition
build an image of difference
                        & permanence,

but there is only change;

the one constant
                        dressed as paradox:

there is only change,

& nothing else.

Lost Futures

For S

Today gave me a vision
of what could have been; I saw
between all the mistakes
I’ve made,
there in your home where
you & your children live:

an echo of
the lost future that could have been
if only

life had treated us differently,
if only

we’d received

what we really wanted.

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

        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
        & what did I
give back to you?


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 a failed attempt at elegance.

& that still doesn’t make it ok…

* Simone Weil