ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE FORGOTTEN, POEM TWO

A SWIRL OF WORDS, THAT’S ALL WE WERE

You don’t remember me.
You look hard into my face.

A swirl of words, that’s all we were.

I said as we lay I like this tiny scar, here, on your hip.
Where? you said, turning to look, frowning.

The love that returns in dreams.

Forgotten colours, smells.

The order of things.
The order in which things happen.

The earth burns in summer, floods in winter.

As a child I walked among a skyline of gravestones.

Forgotten conversations, paintings, faith.

The relic of a saint’s heart senses nothing.

A burning car on waste ground.

When dust has settled after a bomb has fallen
people will sweep up, a girl with a rose in her guitar
will play gently in the corner of the square.

Forgotten arguments, promises, kisses.

The order of words matters.

If you encourage strangers to speak
you could become someone else.

Listen to what’s not said.

Find who can’t be found?
No, not that. Well, perhaps.

Forgotten blizzards, hailstorms, sandstorms.

You with me, sheltering.

Your black coat, old and thin.
The thick, wet sky.

Forgotten dawns, forgotten mornings.

Boats out on the bay
as the mist moves its ghosts.

A monk told me once
If you dream, dream slowly.

You aren’t there.

We were never there.


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