What would you do
If this was your final breath
And you had seconds left
And you knew?
Would you protest
Eyes wide with fear and regret?
Would you clutch salvation
With your calloused prayers?
Or would you remember
The breath of a kiss against your ear
And your child’s trusting hand
Me, I would hold my breath
So I could throw down these lines
And give you this scrap of paper
To carry in your pocket.
Place your hand on top of mine
Like the snow has calmed the trees
I will shake it free again
In the summer breeze.
The sheets are light and heavy
Like the blanket mist outside
Come find my restless footprints
And bring me back inside.
Soon your summer kisses
Will smooth the creases on my face
And replace this sleepless night
With your cool embrace.
There is a certain lightness.
From absinthe’s vapours?
Or conversations with long-absent friends,
remembered scents and secret glances
at pretty freckles and forbidden skin?
Or could it be the leafy whirlpools
of a mild autumn’s day?
But still, a certain likeness –
a whispering of wanton lips,
that leaves behind in last night’s mist
a trail of my discarded burdens
and that imagined goodnight kiss.
– o –
November 2010-February 2011
This is no goodbye, my friend.
This is just a brief respite
From the ritual distancing
That becomes our life.
Do not say goodbye, my friend.
Our silent parting will defy
The future’s awkward silences
We will leave behind.
We are still alive, my friend,
And in among the routine deaths
You and I are still the ones
Who are laying down the wreaths.
This is just a kiss goodnight, my friend.
You will wake up in the morning
And I will be there with your tea.
And you will wonder why I stand in silence
My gaze retreating from its distant sea.
– o –