You tend me with warm injury,
not knowing what to say,
the passing of moment
after moment I decided
I did not know your name.
I will wait until my patience wanes

then wander, angered, the day
a bitch already, filtering to a bastard
evening that will have no respite.
But you, you in the mirror:
I recognise you as the soft
razors nod their heads toward you,

calling your name T couldn't recall.
It was I, the reflection mine
but not down with the existential
black of the mood but a kind
of nodding to Husserl, the phenomenology
of nightmares, the Black Forest of Heidegger.

And I still do not know the name of the day,
only that the sun is high and the clatter of traffic
blisters outside. Day, you are a child, naked,
day you are the one thing to get to,
the compliance of our souls bonded
with a regret hardly ever mentioned

as we wander on, the long
night drawing in, Husserl, Heidegger,
Sartre...these men knew things
and were surprised as I am now
at your distancing, words needing
to be said without contrition.

And of doubt my patience now is made,
silent surprise as the night suffers itself,
as the night deludes the incomparable sense
of loss that will never leave
but will get lighter as the years
fall on watching, the quiet

cadence of the soul answered,
the last word of Heidegger's
sensible, the last word of Sartre
filling in, filling in the calm:
Hell is other people....
Or thereabouts.

John Cornwall