C’est toujours quand la vie s’invente
que nous surprends la mort.
‘Death takes us by surprise’ you sang to the silence that precedes applause the day we were last all together. So, when, years later, I heard the news, taken in its significance, thought, ‘I should have kept in touch’; you and your words came back to haunt me. And what emerged and lingered from behind absence’s shadow were the things we didn’t do.
We’d talked of how we’d like to dive into and drown in the eyes of flowers. I sit here, at the table, staring at the bright red tip of the stamen protruding from a huge, pure white lilium Casablanca. Embalmed in the headiest of perfumes, I think, ‘yes, close your eyes, breathe in deeply and you will sink into the stretched open centre of this flower, and when you reach the other end, the angel will be waiting to kiss your poet’s heart.’
ont retiré leur parfum
laissé tomber leurs pétales
(first published in L’Estracelle, winter issue, 2005
published in Cork Literary Review 2007
in Lines in the Sand, Bradshaw Poets 2008)