Come to this place.
When you hear the voice, you believe in the speaker.
When you feel the caress, the long-forgotten, the almost mythological
caress of fingers against your face,
you believe in her, in him… In him… In her…

The voice is a call, it is almost savage with memory.
Summer whelms up like a doomed ship
from green depths, strung with rank weeds and with
small white, star-shaped flowers in the mist…
Ghosts emerge, floating on the surface like translucent gulls.
And for a moment, everything levitates:
all that was heavy and inevitable
floats once more, is cast back from cold bronze
to a time before the metal slept into its mould,
before the narcosis set in,
before the summer went down with us kissing,
with a kind of stealth, with all hands…

That was in the time before we were lovers.
You were still young and nude, kind of stupidly hopeful.
Those were the days before we went into the Titanic Bar,
and the rain fell and the dogs ran in packs through the streets,
before the trees settled into their giant mood,
and the tragic became the fashion —
it was a time back, before you were vicious,
a saint of necessity with your flowers and your negation,
when love for you was still possible,
and the world was still sufficiently real
for you to desire it into being again
morning by morning as the years went by
spellbound into singing…
Singing:
come to this place — come,
come to this place…

Golden Years by Bowie on the stereo.
Whop whop whop
When you hear the voice, the voice is calling.
You turn, and there they are.
You are a luscious ghost. Don’t cry, don’t cry.
Even your dead tears are more real than mine.
No need to cry: you had your incandescence and your fear,
go back to the others now,
nuzzle against them, rest your face against your lover’s.
Whop whop whop
These are more clinical hours,
shotguns for the foals and does.
Whop whop whop
Don’t try to move through the wire,
or insinuate your glowing flesh through the grille,
it is live, you will be sent back
immediately to where you came from.
It is too late for you:
this is not your element, not your clime:
you should have done what once you threatened
when you had power and were stupid and ruthless
with petroleum and air…
Nothing’s going to stop us
Now you are disembodied, a thing of drips and hankering,
a loitering spirit haunting the frequencies and the bars,
an electric skitter between commercials,
some fuzz and scratch between the tracks…
Nothing’s going to stop us
Still, though, I know you cannot quite recede,
cannot go back, though no one really needs you anymore:
still, you find you are attracted here;
still, you feel your way through, and you
come to this place…

What did you say? What? What is it, now?
Are you speaking to yourself?
Is this what the voice of a ghost
sounds like? How pitiful, the sweetness still
haunting your movements through the July rain.
Are you calling out?
Is this the nature of your call?
Is this all you have? Is this all that is left?

Are you still here? Still out there, looking in?
I wish we had ended a long time before.
Do you remember? Is that why you came back?
In Shirishofsik, where the empty white sailing boat came ashore
three years ago, and I could not sleep and sleep?
Although I wanted to sleep and sleep?
Whop whop whop
And we mulled over the gorgeous dregs of our love,
knowing that things could only get more bitter?
That now was the time to stop.
But we were so entangled in each other,
with years of love, like two vines,
any movement by one would lead to a pulling and a chafing
upon the other, we were Siamese with routine
and with the life we had lived within each other
and with tendrils of association so long and coiled and fine
when I stroked your hip somewhere far away
in time I touched your lips and we disturbed
beads of rainwater on the leaves of a summer birch…

So there was rainwater in our hair.
And flagrant pussy willow along the banks of the river.
I could smell spring everywhere on you.
We lay down in that little chalet,
I didn’t realise that our kiss would send down roots in us
fiery with grief, and tenacious with a hate
which was full of rips and wounds and which yet
we desired almost more than separation,
because hate for each other still meant
we were together, still bonded, still joined,
still greater in our musky Gestalt
than in our cool discreet pieces…
So we stayed on long into a love which was dying
like a season, trying to believe
we could perpetuate our summer for the life.
Even then, we knew we were frequenting ruins.
Like foxes in Japanese ghost stories, living in ruins…

From the long poem, Come
Denial | When the volts flowed

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