Friday, April 08, 2005

Reading "Twice Shy" By Seamus Heaney

Her scarf a la Bardot,
In suede flats for the walk,
She came with me one evening
For air and friendly talk.
We crossed the quiet river,
Took the embankment walk.

You and I are walking the crowded downtown streets on a Friday. It's a crisp winter evening. I am wearing terracotta and bead jewelry. My bright scarf flutters in the breeze. We pass a billboard with an ad for Florshiem shoes. You make a funny observation about it. I laugh.

Traffic holding its breath,
Sky a tense diaphragm:
Dusk hung like a backcloth
That shook where a swan swam,
Tremulous as a hawk
Hanging deadly, calm.

We cross the street. You meander through the traffic more sure footed than I. The static of desire crackles between our bodies. Though wholly unnecessary, I wished you had held my hand or even asked if I wanted my hand held. You light up up a cigarette.

A vacuum of need
Collapsed each hunting heart
But tremulously we held
As hawk and prey apart,
Preserved classic decorum,
Deployed our talk with art

The bar at the discotheque is fairly quiet. We sit facing each other. There is love in your smile as it lights up slowly and disappears somewhere inside beer froth. You watch my fingers play with the corner of a napkin. We never speak of desire, longing or lust. It just hangs in suspended in an orb around us, palpable and taut.

Our Juvenilia
Had taught us both to wait,
Not to publish feeling
And regret it all too late -
Mushroom loves already
Had puffed and burst in hate.

We stay there many hours. I absorb your presence knowing I won't see you in a long time if ever. Each time we part, I fear we may never meet again. What is to draw us together time after time over time ? We never make promises even to stay in touch fearing it may break the spell.

So, chary and excited,
As a thrush linked on a hawk,
We thrilled to the March twilight
With nervous childish talk:
Still waters running deep
Along the embankment walk.

We talk triteness as you get ready to say good night yet wait to leave. Having no words for a moment like this, I wish you a safe flight home. I watch you melt into the darkness and want to call you back, say I want to be kissed good night. Like always my heart breaks as I shut the door behind you.

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