Who's Afraid of Pablo Neruda?
"But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you."
I do not remember the exact second that I fell in love with you.
Yet I cannot forget September's hazy smans, how it hid
gold teeth behind leafy fingers, as if it knew a secret.
That time is fragmented like a slashed
pocket-watch. I can only just remember
the sweet bite of iced coffee and the touch
of brown paper bags. And Autumn placed
"I love you" in the back pages of my mind like a small add.
"And weariness follows, and the infinite ache."
Oh, Love's infinite ache! It blooms inside me
in red clouds - the way colour curls in water
when the painter dips his brush. A super-giant
suspended in a bottled universe.
This reaction is slow-moving. Unfolding
like petals - yet far-reaching.
This explosion will take its time
to carry out the needed motions.
"You occupy everything, you occupy everything."
Soon, they will take me away to bright rooms
to tap and zap and sap the life right out of me -
trying to understand. A white-coat will hold up a scan,
wave it like a flag, and your eyes will emerge
in the neon blue butterfly of my brain.
He will know; you have hooked
onto my every nerve. Your name
has grown in my mouth like a second tongue.
"I think, I explore great tracts of my life before you."
Hours of smashed bulbs and escaped sunlight.
On a southern beach I found a starfish
with one amputated limb. It sat on a rock
like a chromosome, and I lay next to it,
pretending we were part of the same string
of DNA. Now, those simple days are a rumour;
I am not sure if I believe in their existence.
Unicorn days at the bottom of an hourglass.
"I love you still among cold things."
January saw I was slipping away -
so it dug ten ice-picks into my shoulder blades
and dragged me back across the snow.
My exhausted, frostbitten brain couldn't
take the strain - and it longed for the leaves
on the railway line. My arms began negotiations
with sharp edges. But I somehow survived the winter;
a fond memory leant against my door like a snow shovel.
"So I love you because I know no other way."
I have gone away - across borders, over bridges.
I have waited patiently enough. But I do not
understand the Physics of falling out of love.
The equations and formulas of such a descent
are beyond me. I cannot calculate the needed
velocity - only the amount of counter-attack.
All I know is love is tidal; when I think it has
ebbed away, it suddenly comes rushing back.