Monday, 18 July 2011
romantic palimpsest, revisited
"one may ask all the questions, but one should not"
i don't even think you knew then
about my love for grammar, the awe-struck trembling
in front of the countless doors hidden in modal verbs,
opened and slammed in my face
now, when the summer light has lost its gentleness,
when it cuts through the curve of my thigh as ruthlessly
as an indicative,
why did you say i was beautiful?
why did you say my hair smelled like red moss
under cedar trees?
why did you say you wanted us to look at each other
the same way as then, as long as we lived?
(i smiled, amused at this image,
coming from one like you, with your deep disdain for romantic
pose and sentimentalism, we were both, damn it, too old
for rose and myrrh -
but too young to know how to look at a face hiding a face
and another face and yet another face,
an endless labyrinth of deception.
i believed it, though, there was something hard and warm
and true in there
like the heaviness of your touch upon me,
beyond modal verbs,
a kiss like a bird in a mouth
who hadn't yet learned to tell the poem
about kiss and mouth).
why did you say you wanted me to have all the books
you had ever read?
now, inside the walls of this living library
i, the captive, am free to run from modal verb to modal verb
waiting in vain for a flutter of page to hurt my blood,
for light to break your absence
like bread upon my skin, yet again.