I can see you, though I don’t know what to call you in passing.
You are not an angel, but you are not a monster.
A shadow without darkness,
A solemn thing without judgment.
I can see you, old bird, faceless man,
I know you smile gently.
I tried screaming at you.
But you did not hear me
I wept at you and begged.
But you did not see me.
But you did not need me.
Now I nod and smile gently in return
Now we catch each other in the corners of our eyes.
So you are with us again
A caressing, skeletal hand
Down a dress,
Cupping a breast,
Murmuring eternal nothings in an ear –
We cannot hear those teeth
Those tongueless mouths.
Hearts drown out the sound.
The Italian Renaissance showed it best-
A voluptuous woman
In a yellow gown
Braided hair and rosy lipped
A bag of bones draped around her shoulders,
A hand gently plucking back a bodice
This is the particular beauty that we cannot see
Not life but death
Nor life yet death
But life and death
The constant, the beautiful truth
The unchanging and informal caress
Of a promise which is always kept.
I wonder – will I see you when you drape your arms around me?
It would not be a bad thing
To track your progress in the room
To count your steps to my side
Perhaps that would be better than being tackled by you on a highway