Words To Her Husband

Soon the deepening whisper of evening calls from
a morning half-cut as usual. This has become
the reflex by which we live, moments of endurance
until the light goes out and the big man with
the brown bottle casts aside the moon and the stars
and calculates his landscape. There can be nothing
then save the soft pampering of the morning after,
the excuses, the reasons, my blackened face
mirrored in the mirror as I wander nowhere special.
What have I said, what has happened, this room
pained with familiars? You cannot say and I
have lost my voice, my language soft as though
settled into the dust of something once promised.
Now not even the frail tone of Buddha could manage
your strife, coming as it does from nowhere,
brown bottles covering the room, the odd martini
afterwards topping up the resilience pleasure.
And I can give you no more, nothing else
that might set the eyes straight, that might wish away
the morning, the afternoons of wandering
the early evening pleasure strangled with vermouth.
These are words of departure, a poem at which
you would frown and bear false smiles, reckoning
nothing at their intention to dispel gently
what has become this, this moment, our
faces distant from one another as we watch
the day go, as we watch the day.
Now I know I must turn, learn that love
does not always favour love, this poem
addressed to you amongst the wrappings
of bottles and the odd glint of glass as you
take another drink, the day halfcut,
evening taken with a pleasure no one could
prescribe, no one to care, no where, no when,
except perhaps me in the rash second
of a moment that falls in the rash second
of a moment that falls in until the cold
starting of dawn, the silence of a pleasure
taking hold, nothing there as you mouth
my name that comes across without reason,
the fallen sound waiting for forgiveness
as it does each day, fashioning the seconds
of my hours half lost in the long sorting
ofthe morning's edge.

John Cornwall