How many nights and parts of days have we spent thus,
sat on carpets, speaking inert of the things that mattered
exclusively to us; to us, exclusively. And how many
more nights in your semi-lit room reeking of cold fag ash,
rolling on bedcovers, fathoming tyrant truths about
what we could not fathom, what escaped us but we
could not escape, this injustice. But how
many hours wasted at the kitchen table, ‘badding’?
Burying our faces in mattresses to avoid the slapping
of what we discovered, cowardly ostriches.
On Friday nights we dissected the universe
and that tiny atom of it, ourselves.
And we heard shouts from the streets but we had
shriller shouts stored inside our lungs, to be released.
There was your maidenhood, there was anger,
the disappointments and our curse. We were alone
and we had no lovers. I could not write,
you could not paint, I had lost words
and you had lost colours. Lose we could so we did.
For instance our ideas and our ideals,
the men and women we wanted to keep, our nerves,
our patience and our time, sitting on those carpets –
compiling our losses into film sequences,
décortiquing a world that was evading us.
The curse, you laugh. It does sound dumb.
I believe in nothing but what else do you call
a long stretch of defeats that drive you ever numb,
a pattern of failures that dynamite your heart? We thought
everything would happen and it all dishappened.
We left home at eighteen, hurrying towards life,
we found a vacuum: like a sink with no plug.
You fill it up, you fill it up, Sysiphus mad and proud.
There is no way but to renew the hope.
Your instinct will always throw you a rescue rope.
We are still young but we are bruised,
I’m not sure really of our youth.