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Unfaithfully Yours: Lines from the index

July 2001, no. 232

Unfaithfully Yours: Lines from the index

July 2001, no. 232

We were gone from each other;
we were throwing out small talk,
half-sent smiles, unmeant like mist.

I have always loved water and praised it.
I love my work and my children.
I have lived it and lived it …

I am the long lean razor shell
I have already come to the verge of.

I rise like a sunken boat from China.
I sing. Ah! What shall I write?

I recall her by a freckle of gold.
If I close my eyes, I can see a man with a load of bees
in an octagonal tower, five fields from the sea.

I speak from ignorance.
I think you have fallen in there sometime.
Is there something you can tell me
writing on these postcards scored out by the dark?

A solipsist sings the poem.
A slender mouth, a sceptical shy mouth.

It was not meant for human eyes –

Ah, I thought as he opened the door –
All these Americans writing about America –
Clarity once! Can you give me
a precise description?             Delicacy was never
enormously great nights returning, midnight’s
constellations …
Dull headaches on dark afternoons

look unoriginal, experimenting, experimenting …

Now he is being shot.
Photographs are dispensable.
Biographers yelp at the door.

Steadily stepping first, I let the world in –
British Poetry Since 1923
stealthily parting the small hours’ silence.
strange to see it – how as we bend over –
sunlight daubs my eye.

To speak about the soul
turn where the stairs bend.
We were gone from each other.
We were throwing out small talk,
half-meant, smiles untouchable as mist.

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