Ordinarily, the sun swerves the time across,
Slowly. A change of light may move the shadows.
Here, shadows turned the light:
The living room – in her absence, a strange epithet –
In which we filled in silent conversations
Like crossword blanks,
Where once she sat, she drew with a cigarette
The grey area: that my strength always lied
On the further side of frailness.
And from her, I only inherited cheekbones,
An empty decanter, and a tremendous
Love of weakness.
A single blob of sun, round as a thumbprint,
Yellow like headache against the blue.
Maybe a tree, a cloud of green, caught
By a thick brown arm, held like a fruit.
Overhead, a bird, perhaps, drones by
As innocent and commonplace as death.
And that thumb of sun, that yellow disc:
Its rays are propellers.
The title is a quote from Avi Dichter, former Israeli Minister of Internal Security. It is perhaps the most unsettling sentence I have read during my Masters degree in Security and Justice, thus far.
In another room, the piano plays:
removed three months ago upon
the death of a former tenant.
We thought that we’d found diamonds, in the sand:
Fragments without colour in the hand.
Only to discover, in the hard
White face of it, the daggers of a shard,
The blasted sand turned glass, its broken sift;
The firestorm leaving fractals of a gift.
The crater scorched the desert into mirror,
Death’s diamonds, mere reflections of their terror.
With my list of lists and reasons,
Holding unpaid bills of cost:
I’ll be counting out my demons,
Knowing everything’s not lost.
It always seemed a terrible shame that Chris never bothered to make that chorus even half-rhyme, properly.
There shan’t be softer hurts in life than these.
The pages crack from tears, dried yellow-white.
There are no longer Letters to Felice:
We lack the love and fear to letter-write.
Shame: shame in the blood.
The ghost in my veins of
The man before you, and
The man before him, and
The death in between.
Ghosts: shame in the blood.
Rich with impurity,
Lead in the pipes that
Drove an empire mad.
Madness: shame in the blood.
Rot in the thick, ripe
Root, is the coppery
Taste as I say it.
Rot: shame in the blood.
By a curse afflicted,
By the itch that hands can
No longer scratch:
Itch: shame in the blood.
Leper without bells. Pariah
Without town walls. Dark red
Mark in the veins, of the
Man before you, and the
Man before him: the death in between.
Shame: shame, in the blood.