When we were alone I sang my sacred songs with gusto,

by the boom of a subterranean piano;

agonising, kicking at the wood with my silk shoes

and crooning while you played

against my ribs, gently sawing at the cracked white ribbons

binding everything. How it all spilled,

like thoughts from heads, away

into the treacherous, mad clash of living.

We were gadabouts in death's river,

all excellence and curiosity,

muted silliness and burgeoning love. I accepted

your sumptuous wine with bravado,

knowing the must of it,

and that was all there was.


Now I am grown barefoot, it is Summer:

a blue square in a dark wall.

My humming is a vague, sweeping tail.

I have crushed the spices and pummelled the bread.

It has all been put to one side,

to rise quietly and prove itself.

I am still; the space beneath my feet is black as the cellar

into which we once sprang feet first

to face the dead, the unholy,

mystical force of them.

But even now, they are not quiet: they slop their wine and whoop;

they roar and pound their pianos, and I desire them,

chorusing inharmoniously their many, varied endings.

The unliving and the unlived: stubbornly resisting the cement I pour and pour.