Home > Poetry > Dancing with Ghosts of Ourselves

Dancing with Ghosts of Ourselves

Our switching glances
were what burnt us out,
neither looking too long nor too hard,
seeing without enough attention,
dark-hearted and yet surprised
at the darkness –
we were of simple minds then,
all fingers and numbers,
smiles but no sense.

But the look, hitched around the sun,
bent around the corners of summer,
full of grass and grace, laughter
and all the things I’d forgotten
from childhood – you pulled them
out of history, offering them like
a picked wildflower.
It was enough, then.

Those days, however few, were without mercy,
love run at a full-gallop,
each race a resurrection,
no hesitation, we were born again
on a bedrock of desires, all secrets
laid down bare in hieroglyphic hands,
never mind the dust
kept beneath the thorns, fingers pricked
and won, your eyes –
the perfect color
somewhere between the sea and the salt air.

But even as we gained
we lost. Soon, the moments stalled,
the green of the grass hesitated
before giving out, yielding up the seconds
until there was less and less –
and then
and then –
nothing but a shimmer, a ripple of heat
gathered in the air.

In that, we were caught out,
carried away by rain, soaked
all the way back to a time before
we met, memories dancing with the ghosts
of ourselves, unfamiliar; our fingers
grew cold and distant, suddenly
lost to pockets,
extracted from entanglement,
a dissolved bit of heart-fame,
the gaze –

your look

I buried it, but it would not reconcile itself. Now and
again it bursts out of history, all
blood and bone and summer,
the last little torch of time, not quite gone out.

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