You said something
You made the distinction between;
Something I’d been mulling over for years.
Greyness sets in and the mind goes…
It used to be a solitary thing
And then: Light!
Now you: broad, sharp, eloquent
Now me: soft, shy, vulnerable.
Remember that blue slate path,
Flecked with locust,
Leading out to the promenade?
Remember what you said?
Suddenly I couldn’t breathe.
New England used to hurt
When my brother came to town,
The young new wife
An easy smile,
Folding laundry at the kitchen table.
I’d drive down to the beach
Shake it off.
Years later: sharper.
Sometimes we peak, calcify in the wake.
Standing at the shoreline watching gulls
I can’t remember the sound of your voice.
But, I remember what you said.
Now Me: Alone in a soft dream.
Gone: the filmy plate beside the bed
Gone: the pulsing music
Gone: the smoke swirling around the ceiling
Gone: the soiled carpets, toilets
Gone: blood on the pillowcase
Gone: the chatter of nocturnal strangers,
Repeating, repeating, repeating
Gone: “Fuck off”
Worse than knowing you needed me:
Me then: Enabler.
No. 1 said: “Leave”
No. 2 said: “Protect yourself”
No. 3 said: “Enough”
Four said: “Love him desperately”
One, Two, Three, Four: All correct.
On afternoon walks to the promenade,
I hear the click of your heels,
The echoing handsome stride
The heady locust sway from side to side,
They lean, they sigh, they heave
The flowering heads face-down, bowing
Touch my shoulder
They too, remember what you said;
What breathtaking waste.