Three Acts of Love

three acts 4

What words are there? 
No words 
                 With which to express disappointment 
That you will not see or remember 
Some of the truths we have said. 
That you have perceived that I 
Or perhaps you still believe that I squandered 
The bright flag of friendship 
For an impetuous rush at the shore. 
This is the disappointment that I in writing these words 
Cannot picture, 
That you and I are unable to relax in the air 
Real love makes. 
This is not necesscarily the heated air around sex, 
Or the smoke fuelled curls of enjoyment,. 
It is not the trapped belch of drinking 
Or the bargain and rush of events, 
But simply that sharp surprise breath 
That some people use to serve singing, 
Or the breath inside Pinter’s poem 
Caught in ‘It is Here’ for his wife. 
This is the sheltered air that thrusts thought 
Forward as its tiny badge or mind-flower, 
The brief gasp expanded in the particular 
Agreement friends make. 
Friendship is extremely important to me 
And means a different thing to most people; 
It is a covenant sought for in the modern world’s 
Lonely quest. It is not association, or school, 
Or something to do on the weekend, 
It is about understanding, enabling those without 
Words to reflect.  It is depression’s resolve; 
The balm for doubt, the solution. It is the desire 
To open both the argument and the heart. 
And to let others in 
So that they may fill us up 
With their living. It is unlike any other, 
Which is the only proper gift I could bring. 
Very few understand. 
The wide world waits. 
Here’s my collar. 
I fasten it, slowly, 
Checking one last time 
For your wind. 

If we could, we’d find ways to fashion ourselves 
A new weather; one that blows answers 
As frequently as the grit. 
With that assured we’d walk well, separately 
And together, eyes bright with questions and unhurt 
By the hale as it hits. 
But the world we know is not that. And we have only 
The rain and sun product. The world we know 
Does not govern. Even if, of course, it is judged. 
And so I lock my thoughts into trial, While twisting 
Skies to turn fearful. Casting these words through rain falling, 
Words that you will never see. Love is smudged. 
If there was a cost to be paid then I ran out of change 
Very quickly. What I could afford I wrote to you, 
Truth’s currency bound by price. 
I attempted to honour the sun as it tried to shine 
Through dense weather. Stretching a light I’d drawn for you, 
Part of an ominous cloud: black from white. 
The colour of rain is to do with the particular thought 
Looking through it.  The specific flavour of weather 
Is there in the breath of the kiss that feels right. 
I taste it now, writing this, imagining your singular joy 
In the morning. It is in the worlds we make that each reason 
Is in reaching the heart, lost to sight. 

There is a river in me 
Which was once a sea, raging for you. 
There is a now a reservoir, bordered 
Where once there was a gale, a monsoon. 
This year, the sun has bleached on 
But I have been no special protector of water. 
Though, I have, in my way, tried to keep it 
Impossibly in my arms. 
Naturally, water runs, changing itself 
To new water; mature tears intermingle 
With the wilful adolescence of sweat. 
Kisses run dry, pressed into books like spent flowers. 
Even ejavulate mirrorst he empty expanse of lost love. 
All is revealed as I stifle pain with saliva, 
Eating no doubt, for protection; a shield for the heart 
Through skin fat.  Then, on the spit, a small boat, 
Unknown and quite unexpected, bobbs and waits slyly 
For the disconsolate shore to react. 
David Erdos
Illustration: Claire Palmer

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