Testimony (8 November)

Speak of these burial grounds,
Say that newly-salted curlicues,
Jutting periods and hyphens,
Form rows of peach, pale plum,
Winding vines which tremble up
Last season’s wasting stories.

Pull words through gravelled earth,
Ungrassed spaces where
Time pools, reflecting
What perspires beneath these
Thousand pinprick scrapes
Sewing their story into yours.

Who tends this wretched place?
Confess: you bottled this cityscape,
Skin-thin, head-high, heart-deep
With faded wounds and blistered
The soil. A single touch ignites
These sunken scars.

On the 10th of October (1o October)

I remembered today and
Before it passes, this
Quarter-life, half-life
All gone since you left
Would say

Your leaving, the last of many departures
We mark
The strangest anniversaries, these,
Disappearing acts
Performed once only
Bringing silent pleas for an encore
   Empty house
   Cold room
   Skin.

Breathe.
No.
No.

The rest is –

Before I began to increment
Days into months into years
Commenced within an hour
In fractured passing,
Your voice would sometimes crash
Against the walls of dreams
Awake, asleep, its echo blurred.

Mind’s eye, my sense of you,
Once so loud dims to
Those final monochrome moments,
Pale, bleached shades of

Your eyes
Your face
Skin,
Touch,
Breathe.

Please.
Not again, again, again.

Again.

This is the clock that
Unwinds my life
Echoing with such precision.

Where does love disappear to?
Can it fade or merely hide?
Does not leave but
Haunts us
With what cannot be undone.

So when I remember today
I will try to see
The smiling years,
The Before
Though I cannot unsee

You follow me everywhere
All of you
Everyday

So I will remember the next
When it comes
If only to remember and
Mark these days.