Cunctation (These Are Going To Be My Memories)
These Are Going To Be My Memories
We have become strangers again,
Cursed by my leaking heart, now
That the wolves are circling.
I scrape my beard against the warm
Silk of your inside leg; flinching,
Your knee elevated, pink.
So, Daisy Gray, are you ready now?
Let’s see about setting the world
On fire. Four, five minutes.
Mark our heights on the ceiling,
Edit the results in fear, forgetting
The consequences of inaction.
1. Lazy; indolent.
2. Of no use.
(or, You’re The Train That Crashed My Heart, You’re The Glitter In The Dark; Oh, Laura, You’re More Than A Superstar).
…& ‘Goodbye’, or something like that; All these motions to go through first,
But comforting to know we’ll never build that house - far too much work,
I’m sure, & there’d never be enough square-footage for my heart, or the
Comforting, illogical assurance that wearing sunglasses in a hopeful way
Would ever control the British weather. So, I inspect the palms of others,
& scan the skies for the promise of a tomorrow we can take more pride in;
This will take a mercifully short time to die, & I have no plans to be here
When it does - But I’ll remember your measured grin, & I will smile, too, if I
See another man carefully composing correspondence clearly bound for
Sudden, desperate disappointment. I will think of ice-cream differently, &
Question returns policies with extreme prejudice; All the while knowing that
There’s an alternative plane on which we enjoy fruit teas in a garden of our
Making, which explodes with colour, & shouting at the tops of our voices
Wouldn’t disturb a soul, & the hollow stars that put us to bed shine endlessly,
Just in case we ever need to shake the very nature of the shivering beauty
Of the imagined quaking that fuels a love that can never, ever be, but will
Exist, preserved, as a snow-globe on the shelf of some forgotten gift shop,
Price tag fraying with each winter, composed, waiting for the oft-pledged
Flesh-memory, & rumoured inevitability of requital. This is hope. This is the
Compensation for shit we can’t deal with just now, & truth revealed in cold
Light - We go, or we are taken, screaming ‘No’, & ‘Yes’, & ‘Goodbye’, &…
- a hasty glance; glimpse.
- an immediate estimate or understanding; insight.
- an outline or summary.
Makes more sense sending things unconventionally;
An embrace, for instance - just a splash, please,
Along endless, unbroken lines of promised virtuality,
Which just avoids having to touch anyone, I suppose,
& no need to make any rash decisions, in accepting
The demise of a union injured by the dread passing
Of time, of four thousand days spent idling through
Heedless pairings, only to dismiss the best chance we’ll
Ever, ever have of cobbling together some semblance
Of une vie longue et passionnante, sans crainte ni regret.
& true, yes, everything is made of Gods, & the great glow
Seeks to touch all it cannot possibly see, perforating the
Very centre of the sudden, engendered solitude of an
Upturned collar, or that second glass of wine, all thick &
Full of the simple ways in which the stretched can reach
The meek, or the strange, & the tired ways the words
Of others, when applied so lovingly, can transform implied,
Drip-fed infatuation into realised, human feeling, forsaking
The knowledge that everything will not be alright, & the
Accepted truth that you must ask before you can receive.
For you must surely know that I cannot backtrack; I cannot
Return this gift without first toying with the packaging, without
Making sure that all that lies within is in working order, without
Exploring the possibility that death is not the real final, without
Baring all that cannot be & all that is still for the taking, for you
Simply to assume that pulling a rug doesn’t disturb the display,
This is important, I am certain, for certainty is reliance, & reliance
Is just wandering around shops with generic slogans, & eating
Solely in places that serve small food on big plates, safe in the
Keen assumption that the rain will always come to wash it away.
Because a glimpse is not enough, not enough by half, yet steam
Will power my boat, which chugs down narrowing inlets toward home,
As heads rest on laps & books become embossed by the clutching
Of fervent hands, by the protected hands of former flames, by the hands
That infer my fate, & the frankly terrifying notion that in truth I know
I should fight for you, but a heady cocktail of stubbornness & defeat
Stays my hand; This you must know, for in the interest of full disclosure
It would be remiss of me not to afford you all the relevant information in order
To make the kind of informed decision the sun makes with deference
For the powerful moon, in the dangerous wake of the newest, lonely day.
& since it died, I have slept with another, & in each inexact groan I found
My truth, folded, corrugated with the inevitable compulsion to imagine you,
& transfer, nay, realign, & shift the capitulation of my soul from her body
To yours, &, (you will not want to know this), I was not in the least bit joyful,
Rather, I knew instantly that, for once, the glow had illumined the X, which
For so long had clearly marked where I had sought to plunder, drowned in the
Changing convention of duty, marksmanship, & vital, ambling peregrinations
Of a life spent searching for a treasure like the one you keep chained down,
& creating unrealised scenes of self-congratulatory romantic gestures; One
Which, if not for cruel distance, might’ve brought its bucket & spade, & dug.
Of, relating to, or marked by extraordinarily detailed and vivid recall of visual images.
[German eidetisch, from Greek eidos, form; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]
Just Barely There
My card was marked when you ate your lunch so, so carefully,
Inspecting each morsel with just the kind of exacting purpose
Usually reserved for the unhurried proximity of dentist & patient.
Reduced to using expensive food as some sling approximation,
For a wasted heart, for your pride, for my kind-of-chunky knitwear,
Avoiding the fact we’re kissing quietly in a hotel car park in Stoke.
I found myself wishing your hair had been styled down, knowing that
I’m prone to such fickleness, especially when I’m basically doing the
Romantic equivalent of pulling a shirt off without unbuttoning the cuffs.
An influx of saccharine greetings cards might aid my recuperation,
Conversely, slip me a bag of flour, or a puppy; this will help some, also.
I will train myself to care just a little less than before, if that’s convenient?
This afternoon, I will revisit my favourite songs, & appreciate the nuances,
Of each command & request, each simple affirmation of easy affection, just
Perfunctory absorption, giving way to sudden, crushing connect-the-dots.
For home is cool stone, & you are the warmed grass of May’s shine,
Generated in absentia, gleaned from nocturnal flirtation, plain stolen
From the learned peaks & troughs of the casual intentions of others.
We walked long, feathered our nest, challenged returns policies,
Checked facts, took advantage, sheltered from the inevitable weather,
Tested the water, breathed deeply, &, oh, how I would have loved you.
Intended to ward off evil: an apotropaic symbol.
Yes, I’m Trying To Disappoint You
I can’t say it came as a shock.
You’re hardly the marrying kind.
So here we are at Nothing,
& the brisanse of love, shattered.
Stifled by distance & apprehension,
Choked at your delicate throat.
We had accreted. I was certain.
Dangerous knowing, leading,
To the agreed shape, the standard.
You are snatched, wasted, afraid,
To avoid regret, to dodge the difficult.
You were nearly mine. I’ll wait.