You looked your best at 3 on a Tuesday afternoon,
when I swallowed unsaid guilt as the bitter edges of shattered CDs,
metallic in catching prism's bursts but-once joyous
serenade out in voice of a man much better-dressed than I,
your tide hair still swaying harvest moon's swift current landed.
There was no supposition in your sake's simplicities,
little time for drawing room curtains and fair maiden's
wrist-gloves, not quarter-length of second hand's dawning
for lipstick loves and balmy perfume's tongue-kiss promise,
you knew of steel pens click-chiming charm all too well.
Still, I wanted to touch my lips to your cheek just once
to know the feeling, just once to know what alive was like,
just once to know, really know, the stories of singers
and mad men have spoken in cavern's endless depth,
just once to know life's chance did not merely mock.
Half-asleep in the Dublin airport, watching falling glass facades
recollect the time of new-built steeple-houses upon emerald tithings
built, looking ahead to the off-white of youth hostel sheet walls,
the blurry haze of Ryanair ticket stubs and continental breakfast plates,
I wrote a note on the crumpled reverse of Supermacs paper:
“If you could see the same grey Glasgow skies as I,
run together between the Clyde's dockland decline, and
the alcoholic ruby sparkles dressing nightclubs that took
their occasion, it would be my greatest sight to know
for you'd have finery in oil rag tatters to me.”
I tore it across the middle edge, and left.
A Recollection of Rainstorms
I am as impermanent as the Highland's rocky recollection:
we came both from somewhere long since forgotten, the
space made in time of ice storms, and must return
some day to mere murals on desolation's dust visage.
One day, it all crumbles and to the sea restores,
not matter calcified remain or limestone spire grand;
there is no reassurance in this matter, knowing
our pointless echoes stop in place at nature's hand.
Still, could carvings of glacier weight grand know the
immensurate pain of lonesome laying at evening's end,
could the wall stone paintings reflections of midnight's gentlemanly
airs in failing from polished shoe leather?
I wore no clan's title and a story half-thought,
you surrounded mists in pale-eyed sadness sweater-knit,
carrying pints in plastic cups, at least, we could
have that much tonight's together, it seemed.
Piercing run, clumsy-handled questions, shattered storms
a second lasting but decades wished upon, truly
those were the moments in deep night with the
flashing neon pattern to be held immortally close.
Beneath the melting pound of Prestwick airport lounge lights
sleep a haunted thought between mechanical spring clangs,
the disembodied rumblings of freshly-recorded warnings;
I was going somewhere, but no time so soon.
When we parted both tying scarves and looking for
streets we had seen only in map headlines, I stuck
with before's determined conclusion of the night,
but if I hadn't had been lying in steady breath.
I'd have spent until lochs hour of dust return
in Glaswegian streets with you.