I touched the bridge. A moment, looking down,
canal expanding, olive water, light
submerging through its depths, creating space
beneath the ripples’ one concentric point
(a leaf that fell), around, beneath – at last.
I breathed. Relaxed. I opened up, in fine
delight – and touched the bridge. Its grain was fine
beneath its paint beneath my palms. The down
of blossoms fell. I thought, if now’s the last
occasion we can come here, drink the light
as deep as eels can swim and hold this point
in time an axis: I may spin; this space
will still be here and while I have this space
inside me, greening gold, then I’ll be fine.
I gripped the bridge. You raised your hand to point –
another leaf? I thought – then looking down,
I saw what I had done. My head grew light.
I’d touched the bridge. I’d moulded, like a last,
my palms around its surface. All the last
eleven days of care, the six-foot space
from every human soul, the cuffs gone light
with bleach-spots, stares at air in fear o ffine
dispersing spray – and I had let us down.
We’re one, in this. One body. That’s the point
of household rules. Our graph’s a single point:
in separate skin, our cells combine. The last
few weeks, I’ve preached the risk, I’ve dressed you down
for shaking hands, not washing hands, the space
the neighbour didn’t keep… Are all our fine
attempts undone? I gripped the bridge. The light
distracted me. You keep the moment light:
“We’ll still hold hands. We’ll wash at home.” You point
the obvious out: “Don’t touch your face. It’s fine.”
Your palm against my palm. Is this the last
weekend outside? Or last of health? Will space
unpeel its stars for us? You scratch the down
of growing beard. The fear lights up. “It lasts
on hair,” I’m pointing out. We have no space
between us: we’ll both be fine, or all fall down.
See the new NaPoWriMo poems as they pop up, complete with pics of the handwritten drafts, and suggest titles for them, via whatever social media you call home:
All my poems on this site are now #FreeForPoets to play with, to write hybrid forms such as glosas, coupling poems, golden shovels, acrostics, centos, and erasures. Full permissions here: #FreeForPoets.