As though suspended in translucent stone
Or glass, each scene seems stagnant. Knowing less
Each day what cleft us, we crossed latitudes
To light’s edge (Russian); fled ourselves by train
To where the unrising, unsetting sun (weak gleam
On the horizon) bled each stillborn noon:
Lost twins. Across the window-pane, forms bloomed
And faintly fell along your collarbone.
All monochrome, the dead world whispered. Stream
Beyond: an abstract mass. Consumptive, hourless
Shadows sprawled asleep. Inside, the kindred train’s
Soft heartbeat lulled us into lassitude.
At times, we’d laugh, exchange quaint platitudes
From poems we’d deciphered by the moon’s
Milky half-light. Alighting from the train
By night, we saw the glacial sea. Alone
Together, something ceased at last. Familiar, wordless,
Shame-hot miles opened up between
Us. Dutch interior without the gleam:
Chaise-longing, you assume an attitude
Of Francophile anguish. I confess,
I drink the vision in: your stubble blooms
Smokeblue, your eyes pearl over – silken sculpture, lips sewn
Shut. Unheard confessions stain that train.
Paris, March. Although it hasn’t rained,
The window-panes cloud sulphurous with steam.
Some months have passed. The stubborn winter’s bone-
Grey skies persist – a quirk of latitude.
At Cinéma La Clef, I thought I saw you. Soon
The trees will thaw. Perhaps I’ll miss you less.
You often used to say tout change sans cesse –
That deep down, all things imitate the rain –
Bloom, form, fall, fade. You’d say that nouns (take moon,
Or music) should be obsolete; the gleam
Of truth is in what lives – the verb. Your platitude,
Once freeing, sings me Sisyphal, my stone.
In hourless dreams, your fleeting figure gleams
And fades: a passing night train. Latitude
By moonlight changes nothing. Seascape: waves of stone.
Display Image Credit: Dominic James