The first in a small series of poems about love. It's for Stew and Jean who loved each other very much.
"Do you miss her?"
Invisible silver sentences.
Threads of unspoken grief
fly like comets,
their icy tails an echoing silence
For once she does not speak to fill it
But listens, emanating warmth
Streams of tears forge their passage
I edge through
Or at least I did once
Willingly lowering myself into the abyss.
We worship the pyramid
Swaying on the lay lines
Our hands reaching for the sky
He stands upright and alone
Preaching through his fingers in black and white
"My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing
with the one I love
but my mind holds the key."*
Afterwards we would agree,
"It was almost a religious experience"
For weeks afterwards
I replay those lines
Straining to see through the Norfolk stair rod rain
Hurtling through the labyrinth beneath the city
Did he want to ask her?
It was almost dance like
Rising and falling like a leaden waltz
Placid, he holds her gaze,
"Love alters not,"** she smiles,
Her silent cotton words echoing by the fire
Tears prick my eyes at these thoughts.
And then again in the darkness
as I watch the diver
The water cool, pure, liquid
offering relief and freedom from constraint.
Perhaps he sought the depths knowing what was in store
so that confinement was already familiar.
"You can't stop what's coming it ain't all waiting on you."***
The wind whistles on the plains
Each frame a perfect wilderness,
"I want to be there,"
I whisper into the semi-dark.
Blinded by the fog of missing words
I did not make out the craftsmen or the witty daredevil,
I saw the ironic smile in defeat,
the choking frustration.
I heard the words that emerged as grunts
ugly like unmoulded clay.
He adored but could not comfort.
Resigned to her fate the last moments were calm
but he could not say goodbye.
Until she asked he had not cried.
Timeless crowds pass by,
I stand before the small door.
They key turns easily and I pass through.
He has gone ahead.
Sure in the darkness,
Unafraid of the depths.
I hear the steady drip of water,
trains pass overhead.
As I hoped he is waiting.
When he opens his mouth to speak
glistening silver threads stream out
beautiful and light.
The story begins and I listen.
Now I will know.
*My Body is A Cage, Arcade Fire
**Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare
*** No Country for Old Men, The Coen Brothers