The Beginning of Love

In the beginning of love the chiffonnière began gathering the dust of age. The clock in the corridor echoed chimes and the smell of soup slipped into our nostrils.

In the beginning of love the horse stood on the hill and the sun shone on its flanks. The woods were silent and a buzzard stood idly on a branch above us.

In the beginning of love I took a turning on a May evening, parked outside your house, and the car dripped oil onto the road and ticked itself cool as we opened red wine.

In the beginning of love time stretched long and taut; endlessly now. In Arezzo, the cafe, cappuccino and brioche, the wait until it was decent to order wine.

In the beginning of love the sun shone through trees and milk-coloured clouds bridged to blue sky. Two birds returned day after day to the same wire.

In the beginning of love we felt we knew the world; understanding spread inside us, a welcome side effect of desire and, with understanding, light.

In the beginning of love your breath fell on the back of my neck and I could feel my heart beating faster and faster so that every beat coined a new day.

In the beginning of love a bicycle race outside Livorno, the road filled with cyclists, stretching in readiness and, us, quiet bystanders, day’s heat rising.

From Atlantic Crossing (St Giles Poets, 2015).

Read more from Stuart Crainer

~ And Poetry After Dark

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