And like everything it began with the sea,
that week I spent rinsing myself clean of it,
upheld by its salts, a tracery of venous weeds
round my white ankles. There was nothing
of you in the routes of the sky, those parts
of the horizon I endured. When I arose
it was from a bed: the weight of the sea fell away.
On that night a storm split the sky in two.
Its tearing entered my dream, entered a room
in which we kissed, though I did not know you.
The voice of the storm became your voice,
its lightning, your eyes’ most delicate veins.
At daybreak the azure was vacant.
Only a morning mist still clung to the pines
and it seemed a day of no consequence
after a dream-time’s sturm und drang.
But by evening they’d strung the torches
out again, and the wine in our glasses
held the deep glow of their light
and it fell on our faces below the porch,
when we agreed that my country had become
a country of high walls, it fell on your
prismatic face and it scattered over mine,
and the glass shivered in my hands and broke.
No horizon could be huge enough to hide
this longing, when like an egg the instant
cracks wide, and what tumbles out
are our days with their easy arrangements.
We are two tired children under such
dishevelled stars. We follow the dark road
to where the company stands under lamps,
but the colour of your eyes is in my marrow.
When our hands touch it is a seeing,
not that blind leaning of plants to the sun,
but the rediscovered memory of how to touch
as our fingers find each other in the dark.
Your smile occurs everywhere when it occurs,
its left-over glimmer’s in this late summer
weather, in the sheen on the wasp’s tiered back,
in those exhausted marks of torsion on the sky:
It leaves me marvelling at my conventional hunger,
though the scales of the sea will settle back on me,
and the leaves drop from a hibernating sky,
and my grey eyes turn colour. Your absence
leaves its stain on the day like those shadows
that leak from the sides of tall buildings,
flow down small streets and mix with the night
in which I can never think of you belonging.