The Stranger

The stranger in your bed weeps
Because he cannot kiss
Your distant face, the white lace
Of the moon watching, intent
On nothing knowing that he keeps his heart
In a suitcase at the bottom of the bed
Just in case.

And at the centre of night
The air breathes with the scent
Of Lebanese cedar and gold,
All the riches a distant face
Could not give, watching,
As I do, the clouds pass,

No reflection on your
Discontent that does not harbour
Suspicion but an echo
Of past disturbances
That linger only in passing.

And am I a King that lies
Beside you listening,
Solomon or David
Or the stuttering
You cannot say
But believe otherwise.

Now I, this stranger
From a night's blessing
Bring with me satisfaction,
Bruising this morning's sun
That tenders with pleasure

That have come to dwell
In broken mornings
Catching the superstition
That has lasted thirty years or more
Catching the respite of knowledge,
I the stranger in your bed who weeps,
Your distant face turned to the wall

As I wonder what might have happened
Had I not met you at all.

John Cornwall

If you've any comments on this poem, John Cornwall would be pleased to hear from you.