You'd love the feeling of an
August's midnight, the winds of
old flames, burning through the
last licks of ember, as they
pass from view and thought with
memories only the sweeter.
You'd love the feeling that no
one could see, the thoughts of
old sine and shame, grown in
hothouses of copper and concrete,
wilting as untended tulips, underneath
pale moon and hazy cloud.
You'd love the last presence of
wheel and smog, fading from
sight; the bitter branches of
a thousand old pines, their
years crowing out all we
would ever have made.
You'd love the green growing
all about ourselves, the little reminders
of all fortune and good cheer,
darkened by the great heavens above,
but no less wonder, no less
something we'd have close.
Oh, but you'd have to be with me.
Under the shade of maples, willows
and the odd branch we cannot name
or recall, the sun faded as a sleeping
gentry, blessed in comfort most unearned,
as we brushed against each other's
breathing, great prisms of cloud and
blue as cold copper, in our eyes.
As the daylight we stiff-lipped suffered
gave way to evening's stars and darkness
black as ocean currents, running
deep as blood in heartbeats, pitter-
pattering upon the tin surfaces of
our rusted old thoughts, I
asked a small thing, flick of ash.
It twisted and tangled as dampened
hair upon my tongue, sputtering out
as chunks of paint and pottery, and
just as worthless in fragility.
I was a careless clever with phrases,
smug as a feline grin, playing
the fool to say such things;
there was never a reply.
We were standing in the lamppost
glow, a thousand shadows and
points of stars cast through our
eyes as solemn ash,
our faces lined with years
yet to come.
Something stood upon pedestals,
ivory and blown glass bound
to break, were the calm
bits of brick and dead banners
hung across the hallway arch
the things we honoured, which
now honour us.
The feeling of sudden import,
tapping its relentless rhythm,
kept us all enraptured; we never
saw its strings and curtains,
the life tucked away.
I pace five corners, again
and again, a confessor
waiting for some great bolt of
love, or shining bit of course.
The things to want are so
easy in pieces of print, so
cheery in a reel of film;
I could, I think, but, no.
The lights flashing bright as
road flares for some great wreck
of the world, are so barren,
but some still can call them
home. But these five corners,
I step upon again and again,
wishing to disappear into them,
I sometimes dream, are the only
place for me.
As the curtains drew redlines, bright as
ruby-eyed birds of feather, I
watched as the reels spun around,
drawing their way old time,
to the final frame.
I'd see the sunsets, fragments of
dawn and midnight, the faces calm
and in terror at once, writing
on pages and clacking on
keys. All so important, true
but I'd always come back to
a cut or two where an old
ballad may well have made the
score. The places themselves long
burned and lost amongst a thousand
copies, backgrounds smeared as coal,
the word, though, remembered, heavy
and bright as glasswork of
ancient construct, taking strength to lift.
I was too weak for it, alas,
we had never said a thing.
Walking Home on Rideau
The night was all careful concrete
and streetlights spilling over like
drunken chalices, old neon and
new plastic alike shattered by water
and heavy footsteps; the rain all
falling on hair and hide.
The warmth behind glass doors, of
bodies moving amongst each other,
of mouths shouting exasperated longings,
felt distant as childhood's end,
but for the few lines of painted yellow
drawn long ago and still thought.