Tears are washing, sloughing memory, drawing blinds on swollen eyes,
cleansing the defective, rubbing omen stains through hours that ring
hollow in the emptied shell, that waste of love which life was steering;
the bitter fruit is silent, riddled with soft rot as heart’s decay now lies.
Mind believed that soul stood by and spirit-filled they would be drawn,
no logic to it, no sure reason to defend when suddenly fear called,
how silly was that favourite word, so fondly said, so often – Sewanee;
pain like shell in ancient sandstone, flaked as useless, crumbling walls.
The tree of life had grown, and gathered solid, perfect rings to hold
his image, but now, no more than mirage and nothing left but muted scent,
and the notch, he had carved, inside her heart which trust did once applaud;
how sodden all the words once said, how muddled and how cold.
Like touts, deceptive dreams did crowd around her natural, open self,
infatuation’s eyes bright as shining lapiz lazuli, to tell a story captivating,
which then did transplant into waiting arms, a fantasy of what could be;
so were the stories of their love made library, arrayed upon the shelf.
So casually he crept into her world, as someone set upon such fruitful scams,
which clarity, if found would just deny, demanding shadows, darkest dusk today,
in movements turtle slow, and barely seen, when what felt like an age had barely been;
so is it that hope can ham it up, sustains, and even as it does in time, so damns.
Regret then wrapped, in woollen shawl around her shouldered, chilling night,
rough, prickling, rubbing raw against the tender palms which had been bared,
and sorrow flowing slowly, sweet and tannin-filled, like steaming tea to please;
so was her self then vanquished, broken, that soul might one day soon be ripe.