We lay back and white seahorses floated over us
Tumbling waves, music, sex, the humid greenery of a sleep
we breathed like plants
A deep stillness, as if it pre-dated beginning
Before the necklaces of shells and the brilliant scarlet feathers
Then we woke soon we were back in the city
the bright jabs of car horns
cement dust concrete being poured
Caffeine neon and wits
We saw things differently and danced like crazy
and all the time argued fought held and fled
desperate to feel
life’s sweets and sting
We had to rest like sharks in moving currents or die
We were plants with the rhythms of plants
With the rootedness of plants
Belonging

We were late it was frantic there was a scramble
we almost missed our plane
I kissed you how wonderful that felt
simultaneously as if I was in the only place I’d ever truly loved
and lost in a place totally new to me
Familiar yet inexplicable
Stable yet strange
We took off and we were in the air
a suspended republic
Below us, the peaks of volcanoes peeped up
like vast egg cups through low cloud
a memo to Genesis
We were scientists and mathematicians
auteurs and carpenters
We were blood type O
We were heroes and failures
lonely and life and soul
looking for parties,
we were lovers
We didn’t know each other
We were not ourselves
We digressed
We were endless

Vacant rooms where the air-con comes on at set hours
and then falls quiet
The dreamless wait of unused pillows
in the giant hotel out of conference season
Blasé carp in the pool, crimson and pink
Rising with a love and with a love falling
The void inside the ping pong balls
lying at rest in the darkened gymnasium
The couple at reception,
arguing, thinking they were robbed
calling security
Near-mummified figures propped up
or lying on their sides like brittle mermaids
in the care home
One moaned a few minutes ago
now she is silent
A few milligrams changed her mind
The sky was a dark violet
and the storm clouds clotted like a black cream
They watched the traffic lights go through their sequences
in the deserted town centre
They take a long weekend and they fly down to Rome

The mind is a vast grave
Impossibly luxuriant, with a liquid bedazzlement of fish
slipping among the coral
Our daughter laughed and we were happy
a mouth filled with light
Anenomes bloomed, dead vampires lay sprawled in muddy pools
Rain was slowly filling the grave
and troupes of monkeys made their way through the swaying trees
The years were sliding into my thoughts of you
and the land slipped pulling down pylons
In the museum
among the great serene heads of stone buddhas
I thought of your mouth
the darkness of your lips
the inside of our kiss
of waves which rise
once in ten thousand years
I thought of flowers which open in the moonlight
I thought of flowers…

These things have no relevance to us
the gestation of mountains the architecture of stars
the dry discourse of rocks and cicadas
We are lushes for instants
Driving to the centre the lilac smoke above the ruins
the car turns to worms and charred petals
You lost your lipstick on the plane
and we grew bored
parched for mirrors among the stones
In the abandoned cities of the heart
the autos of Detroit in memory
you wander among crowds of the forgotten
unable quite to grasp you
are one of their number
You yearn for salience
but this was not your story
You sleep with her for one more night, and attain
the peace of minerals
In a rented house the TV on the sound down
you rest your minds
On the screen, a fury of heroes
a brightness of comets and of falling angels
and the lights of their ascent and their demise
flicker on your closed lids
Beyond the walls wind blows the powerlines
and there is an eyeless darkness
You murmur in your dreams
but no one hears the words
When you wake, you can’t see the darkness
and the wind doesn’t blow

Come inside me
There is room for everyone
for every thought for every movement
You lost a friend and behind you
your sorrow turned to icicles and steam
and on the scalded, inhospitable earth
ferns began to grow where you left no footsteps
in places you never were or will be
Letters were burned and telephones slammed down
and yet the words were endless
even those which led nowhere
were never truly resolved
A butterfly lands on what was once your mouth
The temple has no monks
lizards laze and play on its walls
The passengers remain seated in their airliner
on the seabed
the captain drifts at the controls
There is no end
And so, no judgement can be made on this
And, for this, no judgement is needed

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