Sunday, December 22, 2013

Murray Jennings

In a Café on the High Street Two Poets Reminisce . . .  

‘Just want you to know’ she said ‘how I nearly
turned up at your door with a suitcase a box of
books and LPs and a pathetic bleeding heart’.
‘Oh yes’ he said ‘but how close was that really?’
She paused for a moment and replied ‘twenty-four
hours that’s how close that’s the truth and in that
one day the sky fell on my head, my daughter sat
in my lap asked for a story and hugged me and I
imagined she might have been reading the pattern 
of bloody rips inside my skin, inscribing my story
(I’m so sorry it has to be goodbye, but I’ll come 
and visit, you know I will. I will always love you 
no matter what. I’ll be able to explain everything
when you’re older), words I’d rehearsed but no
longer could form with the tongue that even now
allows me to imagine I can taste you through my 
ridiculous self-pity and What ifs? while I read the 
letters you send me occasionally with all the news 
of your day-to-day life over all the years since we 
both wisely let go.’ ‘Oh’ he said ‘if you had turned 
up that day you must know as I do that we would 
have drunk each other under the table and died in 
an agony of guilt, screaming and competing poetry.’ 
She smiled and they clinked their coffee cups.
For just a moment the traffic outside was silent.


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