The evening light on the ocean was almost monochrome
The water looked like rolling platinum
A single cloud seemed to focus the whole sky around it
heroic and futile
We’d been swimming and we had been young
Now we were beginning to shiver a little
I felt like it was time to do some growing up
to come down off my high horse
It seemed okay to be no one

A silent icy star took the place of the cloud
served to give form to the emptiness I mean
Behind us the city was beginning to light up
on the esplanade little purple trapezoids of neon
surf shacks and bait shops
while behind us the doomed radiance of the centre
throbbing and shimmering
performed its nightly seduction quickly
rendering obsolete any slight wish we might have had
to be good
You dried your hair with the old pink towel
cirrus strands of blonde for silver gelatin
We packed up our things and felt fine
tensed ourselves for the coming evening
drove into town like we carried guns
We felt so cool…

They say the data’s never lost despite the destruction
even when things slip into black holes
though stars may die or cars crash
It’s just energy changing shape
just stretching and switching
At that level, so they say,
nothing is ever destroyed
But that’s just physics
It doesn’t apply
to you or me
to a love or a memory

I guess for you my heart was like that cloud
impossible to keep its shape
or hold in the sky
I don’t care about the atoms or the deathless things
Though days pass the day doesn’t pass
we somehow seem to carry it with us
The waves move but not the sea
We care about the things we lose
some more than others
I sometimes recall the stillness of that evening
the sky like steel and the flat waves shadows and mercury
you drying your hair arm raised like a dancer
grasses on the steep dune motionless
It was as if there was a presence closing in on us
something real, something living,
something we get to keep
But then it moved off again and we kissed for a while
It’s the dream you remember, after all,
and not the sleep

Advertisements