Something must be said

These long, hot middle eastern nights
Are killing me.

I lie awake imagining
The smell of lemons
And those odd squashed figs
That you gave to my mother.

And thoughts turn greyer
Like irish summer skies over Glenteenassig
And everything becomes bitterer sweet.

This throbbing isn’t just between my ears.
Not anymore.
It’s deep in my chest.
And it rises up my throat
With each encroaching minute.

The low slope of your nose
Is still in my minds eye.
You always seemed so unjustly guilty.
And all these words can’t be helping.

Instead let me be brief:
It would be nice if the idea of you
Would let me sleep.

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Is there though?

There’s a limit
To how much useful music you can make,
To how much tension you may instill,
To how much damage any one person deserves.

There is a limit to how much
Despair
Will soak into the pillow cases,
Into the sheets on her bed
Or the tips of your agitated hands
Or the soles of her yellow harried feet.

There is a point at which the night gives way
To a grey and rainsoaked morning.

And when you hit that wall,
When you reach that bluff,
That endless, precipiced edge,
Breath a sigh of relief and close your eyes.

Don’t be afraid to fall.

I should be changing the sheets

The pillow
Where I have lain my head to rest
Is steeped deeply with you.
Your delicate scent but also
The slow curve of your cheek,
The gentle rise of your breath
And the lashes of your
Half
closed
eyes.

When I close mine I can almost feel
The the groove and judder
Of your spine beneath my fingertips,
Your feet, warm,
in the small of my back,
And the moisture
On your open, waiting lips.

Close Your Eyes To Me

Storms make me think of you.
In bed at night
I catch the faint
scent of your hair.
I imagine the slight
flaring of your nostrils
As you sleep and I lie
More awake than ever.

I think it’s the wind
As it whips the rain against
The window. The howling of it.
It obscures the words that I
Cannot seem to even fit into my
Mouth, let alone push them
Out to you through the cold night air.
The air of a new year
seemingly destined to be
As emotionally dense and
Amorously unfrequented as the last.

The air is soupy with electricity and love.
The sky is milky with it and weeps.

Resolutions are mostly selfish
But this is the most selfish of them all;
To share my heavy heart with you
And hope that you shall not break it.

Motorbikes.

I think I know now
why I have always loved
a Portuguese night.

I had thought it may have been
the sweet lemon scent
that accompanies the darkness
after the heat of day.

Or that it was the returning
from some happy meal,
with wines and family
and warm smiles.

Perhaps, I mused, it is
that I remember sunny days
of sand and sea
and ice cream
as a child,
and I carry them with me.

But I think I know now.
It is as my eyes are on the brink
of closing to more pleasant dreams
and from some further distant street
twin engines roar
and then retreat.

Here at home
not enough people own
motorbikes.
Or at least,
they do not ride them
off into the night.

Tender.

Snippity snap

I was listening open-jawed,
wide
to that soprano
you didn’t like.
I could tell.
Highs and lows. Your cheeks
would burn.

You were playing board games
over your legs.
No ladders,
but I could spy snakes galore.
Biblical proportions.
And they were such that
I had to stare at all the polished shoes
of the cellists in front of me.
But I was stealing
secretly.
Glances of you. To sell off to myself later.
Oh, what an honest thief!

On the bus back,
before we had to get out and walk,
you held my arm in your hand,
Your little grip on my heart,
And slept slept slept.
And I was so warm
and the moment so beat up with hammers
that I tried my best to cry quietly
so I wouldn’t wake you.