what it's like
the sky in summer funnels down
that space between slate roof and redbrick walls
its blue expanse condenses
into whisps, a white essence
walking amongst us
like luck, or a revisiting of things
(kissing, the first time, on your urban balcony,
we two merged into the drag of traffic).
you never know what clouds
might remind you of:
a load of fables fit to bursting,
lizards set to flicker on a page,
the tongues of angels.
absence, said to sharpen simile
is not what i welcome here.
you write in the dark, your hand on me
spells, in acute fluency:
an inverse Y, a wishbone,
rinsed with light at the margins of breath
and breath, and quite unbroken.
she likes to cut things fine
to tread the shoulders of each line
as though a cat, padding
softly over potted wounds;
she likes to look at what she never
recognises as the loss of self,
enlarges each consumer window
chiefly to inspect the good she's bought.
the plump pear cut, set split on the wing,
is able, in its gallery, to splay
the tightest of white light
into fantastic simulated fire.
she's not concerned about the origin,
takes pleasure in delivery; in fact
would never order a soul about Š
a typical woman.
[an anonymous 19th century girl who drowned in the seine, her purported death mask inspired writers and currently adorns life saver's dummies. critics believe the mask must have been cast from a living model not older than sixteen]
you do not, could not know
that i died despairing of love.
the ice bright water might have been release
from a million jostling thoughts
unwelcome in a woman of my age;
the famous seine, a fatal surge
against philosophy's insanity.
you pulled me out, adored me
because i was complete in severance.
moulded, masked me, made
my face a mirror for your aching.
sixteen, artists guessed; too young
for any sort of line to score my heart;
i'm the holy maiden who said no.
here it is then; a prone girl,
folded into a poem, and then again.
you hold me down, as muse and now
your training model, thinly covered dummy,
a mock up with a mona lisa curl
to the lips. life saving boys
kiss and kiss again at the old myth.
now know i didn't die. i am
a girl who stepped in for another girl
who perished, inconsolable, who was
too damaged to be glorified in loss.
my pulse continues. oh that picture posed
early enough to let me make my gold.
the ice cold water. oh you do not know:
© Sarah Law 2007