I want you and you are not here. I pause
in this garden, breathing the colour thought is
before language into still air. Even your name
is a pale ghost and, though I exhale it again
and again, it will not stay with me. Tonight
I make you up, imagine you, your movements clearer
than the words I have you say you said before.
Wherever you are now, inside my head you fix me
with a look, standing here whilst cool late light
dissolves into the earth. I have got your mouth wrong,
but still it smiles. I hold you closer, miles away,
inventing love, until the calls of nightjars
interrupt and turn what was to come, was certain,
into memory. The stars are filming us for no one.
But happy now, though no nearer each other,
We see the farms lighted all along the valley;
Down at the mill-shed the hammering stops
And men go home.
Noises at dawn will bring
Freedom for some, but not this peace
No bird can contradict: passing, but is sufficient now
For something fulfilled this hour, loved or endured.
I carry portraits of monarchs,
And innovators, to the value of a novel,
A coffee, a pack of cigarettes-
Consuming as loose notes,
Become hasty meals,
And glasses half full with anticipation,
(The atrocity is, some have either
Far too little money, or far too much)
Functioning with enough to barter my way into the town,
Engaged in the pursuit of nothing,
Assuming the given trials of love and politics,
I watch money circulating,
Happy to toss my last coin, over the worn edge
Of a buskers hat, among the sparse copper,
So that he might keep playing.