Thursday, 2 June 2005

the old days

You, out of the bath now, but in bath before and slightly despondent, the gentle shroud of not knowing, a mode of understanding perimetered by itself.

You, towelling worries now, shunning thinking for a while, trying to forget that when you give to someone, you also give uncertainty. The lazy air of the afternoon, a raised hand gesture, is a difficult one to shake. It seeps into the floorboards and teabags, lies inside sandwiches and it is the white between newspaper type. It is tiredness above all.

Tiredness and thought lead to doubt. I love you.

That is of course the word we hide, the whispered encounter, that blissful retraction. Scattered black and whites. Once I know you, I will know you. Although we have talked of the keeping, we only circle each other in poems, reading from the same green-covered book and I want to look back but that was then, and besides, you have read those words before.

You listened to the chatter of bathwater earlier, and read the heavy pages of an old Russian classic, half-tempted to drown it and start something afresh, but fearful of not finishing, fearful of the indictment upon yourself. The sandpaper you use as a bookmark suffers in the humidity, drooping at the book's side, a wilting indicator of progress; this is where you are at.

I know, through elimination, where it started. It did not begin whilst stepping onto the path watching the door latch behind me, nor did it begin at the crossroads whilst waiting in a shuttered light, the light of spring, months before summer’s approach could be heard. It did not begin as I walked along the main road, watching vehicles.

Walking towards you is never a negativity. Guessing at the situation, at the removal of another, a blissful retraction of old, dusty words piled upon the bookshelves, you make me and I am made. I walk to your house.

You hold something deep within you, and you feel it pressing with tiny hands, an inside out, the opposite of lust. But when you focus, when you drive towards honesty and talk of people, the houses we live in and the stalls we set, of mother and baby, I gasp in awe and hold closer.

I take influences while you take bathe, striding in the evening light, irrelevating, a row of terraces pitching out to the east and to the sea, the feint shivers of a childhood, to rockpools and leavings and to love again but of a different kind.

You hate reliance, I hate too much. You will teach me, and the follies of the baby, angry to be alive, always screaming with gorgeous ponds for eyes, the sight of birth. Your mother never gave you away to anything, especially not nature, and you are loved for it. You will love again

You never misunderstand me, you are all yourself, and I can be nothing more, not even on this premature spring day, fingers held rigid on the tabletop in your absence. Bouquets lie in the windows and you, dry now, are looking into the yard, eyes flitting among the dust and concrete. I cannot maintain a time.

So I know where it started. It all started with a lack and a reminder, within a green-covered book somewhere in the middle of that fight of words and meaning somewhere within a poem, because they always mean less than you want them to, but sometimes I think they mean more.

You turn from the yard and to your clothes, place your hand upon yourself and think about dressing.

I walk to your door.

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