The house with a pine tree growing up through its middle
The house made of air with a floor of plain
and walls of horizon
The house of summer with the doors open
bright tall yellow plastic beakers of lemonade
and the radio on
The house with the disconsolate lovers
patrolled by clocks
penetrated by whispers
of lost ambitions
The house you were born
The house we met
The house roamed by bears and the house
recently re-wired
The house no longer standing
This house
Your house

Your skin was coated with a fine film of white sand
I brushed the sand from your back
I thought how some of the sand grains on the beach
had suddenly become important to me
because they were touching you
They had swollen up out of their obscurity
to peak for a few moments
in your beauty
I felt so tender towards them
You sat hunched up your wet hair still wringing
an old bleached and fraying pink towel covered your shoulders
one of the straps of your new bathing suit
hanging down upon your arm
You looked out over the ocean
I looked at you
feeling the sand grains trickling
between my fingers and your skin

And the grains of salt from the waves
and the atoms of gold which float there
The scent of sea salt and damp cotton
and the scent of the resin of pines
and eucalyptus
I loved these things because they had touched you
were entangled with you
Your body gave them warmth
flushed them with breath and a softness
of impossible hope
The salt water which had touched your lips
the light which had fallen on your breasts
and into your eyes
The falling which had waited
a long time to happen
The salt water which had roamed
for so long
The tenderness
of the only moment of touching
Only in us
Only in us,
all of these useless things

At seventeen miles everything turns to haze
Cities, forests, seas, no matter, it all turns to haze
We pottered round the house that morning
It was a beautiful early summer day
We made Nicaraguan coffee and sat in the garden
and you ate segments of tangerines from a saucer
of blue and white Delftware
The lawn was unmown and galaxied
with dandelions and daisies
We didn’t talk much just sat and read the papers
or our books or sat quietly
listening to the birdsong and the insects
around us
You lay on a blanket and fell into a doze
I knew how lucky we were
and as we drifted like privileged castaways
it felt for a few moments as if no one would find us
Such was happiness
A collection of very small things
slowly assembled
related in delicacy
unrecapturable
never, but always, taken away
I lay down on the blanket next to you
You murmured and moved your lips but didn’t open your eyes
A bird glided overhead, its wings still, cruciform, some kind of raptor
We had made love that morning, near dawn,
and I felt dissolved in you
serene and trustful
A ladybird was clambering over the front of my book
Spring Torrents by Turgenev
After a while I fell asleep too
curled beside you in a light embrace
A sudden sound of jet engines woke us

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