Her ambition is killing
Miss Wembley seats out on the six thirty,
Reading of holidays, manicures, pedicures –
perfectly in ironed veil
doing admin in excelsis to the metal rhythms,
and computerised voices directing thoughts and noises
firmly between train and platform.
So making her way by season ticket
up through Maida Vale and the wealthier mezzanines.
Who is she?
Secret, searched for somewhere
On the North Circular,
is she the lark she sometimes says she is?
Just for a moment
while still visible in this setting out and setting in
her wings still visible,
in the rapid, early commuting.
Others noticed but did not say
As they went up and down
And along their way
In their more ordinary migration.
So how about tonight?
Conditions seem somehow right.
You remember the filing cabinet,
Fax machine and stranger blackberry?
Now we have something more agreeable.
To sit alone amid hotels
Indulging ourselves in all those smells;
And when it takes our fancy
Call ourselves Sid and Nancy.
Worry, worry, worry,
Time’s such an absolute bother
Except when rendezvousing
By the nearest railway
Without a need for endless email.
And think of all the gifts –
Silks, bracelets, shifts.
Clothes wrapped in seeming eternity
With shoes of the finest diamante.
Scent of roses and clementine
And diamonds from Tiffany.
‘Come on down then’
Join me on this bed of flowers
To pass each minute and every hour.
It was enough – a glance backward
As you, the figure of my dreams
(And in my dreams)
formed still more form
in its place.
Yes, you walked as first we shaped ourselves
In gardens of Eden
(Before their loss.)
Triumphant even –
Your body figured
In light and space
And all the street was yours
Because of this.
Yet by the time I thought liking mutual
You had gone to ‘office militant’
To be alone again.
She had beautiful eyes and sat there, under the cypress.
It was evening and the bees played on the warm air
around her, carried by summer towards me.
In time, it was evening (also) and we witnessed
a coming in and a going out: Miranda, honoured.
At once, a foal walked unsteadily across,
sank to the ground-it was our meeting place,
the earth formed roughly but well.
I was her light, you know-in childhood, leapt forward
like a giant nearly swallowing her with laughter.
Afterwards, listened to you play music at a window,
keeping me still as the rain fell in two parts
that were recorded. In each was strength,
making me remember her name when we tired-
over a memory that was brown and soft,
in a tomb that could not speak of this.