Star Gazing

I tried to imagine his exhilaration
on reaching the summit. His face
pinched from his exertions,
looking bravely into the camera
with an air of embarrassment
that seemed out of place on him,
so fragile, so passionate and yet hard
and unforgiving. He entered a forest,
walked along a river, scaled a mountain,
but perhaps he would have preferred to disappear,
would rather have been a mirage,
or a sweet love song, irresistible and haunting.
The sun was still hot. Black, glittery
trembling on the asphalt
on a packet of Amber Leaf.
I waited for him.
I had martyred him.
He wasn’t real. But he was there.


She was grand, she was an animal,
upright and pure but lethal.
On Sundays she walked barefoot in the streets.
I didn’t need to ask what she was doing,
she was free. I told her she was beautiful.
If she believed me she didn’t say.
Instead she spoke of her mother
who at the height of her psychosis
had conducted the birds
in her garden with a makeshift baton.
She is dead now, so are the birds.

At the beginning of December
the weather changed. Everything froze.
The light was pure silver in a sky
that was dense and deep
enough to fall into.

I followed her into a gust of wind,
the ground cracking beneath my feet.
Her throat, her coat, her wine stained lips
spoke of her willingness or her grief.

A couple of leaves caught in a spiderweb
flap their wings helplessly. Their wings!
A fabulous surface beneath which
a pulsing flesh that I felt the urge to kiss,
that would make me burn, remade
and ready to endure something as raw
as Orpheus’s love.