"...and late/Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair/
And the green freedom of a cockatoo..."
(Sunday Morning, Wallace Stevens)
Not where a lover arrives at my door most days
with voluminous kisses, nor a whole ocean away, nose
polished by chamois-leather cheek, my fingers rubbing
familiar knobs of your skull for musky nutmeg.
Not where my hands talk to your torso wrapped
in thin T-shirt, nor flying above clouds, your imprint
in my arms, looking back at love, endearing toy-town
miles below, tracing events like roads seen from the air,
start and finish gathered in one glance.
But here at home, carrying poetry and dirty laundry
in icy wind towards a spartan room in a tower-block,
stark on wizened grass, white sun useless on bare
trees. Far from starfish-purpled beach, luscious
agapanthus borders, I dread tomorrow.
Yet it arrives, made bearable by marmalade
on bread in window-warmed sunshine. Bitter dark
espresso too, a gift from you, and so the day improves.
I look at a green candle-frog which says Good Luck.
For a whole week no one was here, but still it kept
wishing me well. My oleander on the sill promises fragrance
in a swelling scarlet bud. It did not need anyone
to stroke its rough stem or kiss gleaming leaves.
Some water and daylight were enough.
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