Page ready and empty -
hands fiddle with the ribbon,
a yarn tangled around the steadfast ‘Z/z’.
My mind pretends a search
but truthfully conjures visions
of your straight spine: imagines the steel rod
implanted within to keep it straight,
and your perfect breasts and nipples
seen whilst performing a Louis Nowra play
titled ‘Visions’ in which you played my sister
though secretly I was never your brother.
We lay together, another sunny afternoon -
but not fully together;
the journey never went so far, words and time
seem to make us stumble and splutter
like a fire that almost catches
yet for reasons unexplained does not.
Now another afternoon
I sit at this computer writing words
that somehow have the shape, these years later,
of the underside of your ‘b’ breast,
the gentle curve of your ‘l’ neck,
of your thin, soft ‘m’ lips
and long, long gently clasping ‘w’ fingers.
This ‘s’ is your bent leg, the knee a valley of ‘v’,
this ‘o’ a cheek soft as a baby;
a remembered smell sends me reeling
into that almost moment so long ago.
I wonder these 27 years later
what has happened to you and that steel rod
or your sea green eyes
and utterly sad heart that would not let go
to come a’ journeying with me
on a sunny afternoon similar and almost different
from any other and I wish, as I have some times other,
that I might have had the courage to face your temper
and in its tempest shout like an undaunted sailor
the ‘I love you’ that dwelt in my heart
that moment, on that particular afternoon.