23 January 2012

Leaving a moribund behind – Anders Villani

Leaving a moribund behind by Anders Villani (22)

Now turbid cooling towers and cliff-top
chateaus flash by, now gluts of steam
scud over my windscreen; the stone villas and
bicycles, the rusted ships reposing in the yard,
the fog in the foothills of Le Mugel –
edifices called from screaming silence.

Call me the lap of waves, you once said,
but not on the sea, on the Seine; or a pair
of watchful eyes adrift; your French name
sounded awful in English
so I called you nothing, only watched
as the hyacinths left your trembling brush.

When I left Paris your braids were black
and thinning, your skin
like a phosphorescent reef;
the marzipan flowers you made for me
left too close to the kiln and wrecked,
I could see every vein on your wilting hands.

And I see death now from my empty courtyard;
central port abuzz with old men marks
the return of the boats to the south; makeshift
stalls erected, fillet knives put to steel, and perfect
sharks passed astern by burnt fisherman
gasp their final gasps, while the rusty outboards putter.