The framing’s set, the ribbon tied,
A soft sweet portrait in my mind,
Like sandy strawberries, gritted teeth,
An anxious knot, a salted cheek.
I see it now; colours coalesce,
The Virgin bare between your breasts
As tulips tumble off your tongue,
Into my ear – not to hear – just for fun.
My monolingualed monotony,
A spirit dull and hard to see
Beneath the layers of privileged youth,
Of all-white towns and God’s Own Truth.
You’d strike my prose like a gentle harpoon,
Or an open window amidst a monsoon,
Then out you’d hop without a word,
No reply: A romance blurred.
I’d crystallise, deep in my den,
A banana waiting to ripen,
Then you’d snatch the crop and toss the fruit
To a height no rocket from earth could shoot;
My interstellar ecstasy,
An astronaut with a VB,
I’ll show you mine if you show yours,
We’ll row this stream with cosmic oars.
The poetry came quick and easy,
Sipping soy caps at Panizzi,
Stupid rhymes and joyful tunes
Spread across our afternoons,
Until that jagged love fled
And paced above us overhead,
Cloaked in those stars we thought we knew
[Not we – just me – there is no you]
As I melt I make no noise,
But for the scribble of these foils,
My soul desire, an empty chest,
A stroke of my neck, sorely missed.
Floating with the stars’ alignment,
Grappling with this last assignment;
I know no French, I’m sure it shows,
But for you I’ll try so here I go:
Les larmes peut-être ruissellent
Contre notre toile de millefleur,
Dans l’ombre de votre toucher
J’entendais “Tu vas me manquer.”