I live now in a haunted place-without remembered
ghosts—no bitter weeds, no webs of light, no single hair
curled sweetly on the mirror’s glass, but one dark room
where books ignore their neighbours in the aluminium
trunk and an evening smelling of wet leaves and complex,
I think I’ve lost the beauty that filled my throat with its
difficult sadness, its harrowing indifference. Gone bright
doors, gone shafts of never-changing, happy light, gone
freshly-minted dawns, gone February, gone July, gone
cotton carders with their flaming eyes, gone that whole
rich yearning life.
I live now among fight-faced houses coloured like
matchsticks, 21-inch t.v. screens in badly-lit rooms, people
endlessly polishing their bikes, road maps full of rightangled
streets and little squares of jaded green, the
engineering student’s alarm clock at five, after which I lie
awake wondering who meagerly measures
out days like these.
But none of this kills the habit of awareness I have that
melts the world into a nectar for the senses more readily
than love devours a face, or grief breathes in and out the
air of absence. I am without a place. I want three seasons
keeping time in the sky and valleys which the evening fills
with its dark blue waters.
I always wanted to be alone. But now
I’ll never be the good witch
I was at home: burrowing into diaries
full of love secrets and spite,
always raging but always quiet, bred
in novels, raised on memories
and silence. This is not silence.
Even when the world is still,
even when just dogs and street-lights live,
this is not the silence of the night.