The book lies open on the sill,
pages progressed beyond his reading
edges restless in a still room
Under moon dappled by scudding mist,
rose and lilac wanders in traceless paths
over feather and cotton,
a burden of memory unfolding behind
tightly shut lids, a brush of
silken strands over shoulder
Sighs whisper over skin,
obscure longing glimpsed
obliquely through silver-backed
shadows of a glass reflection.
Inescapable, that ache of sorrow
too deeply embedded,
and hard, dense blows wrack this
bone cage, leave damp trails
wiped with slow impatience from cheeks.
Recrimination, regret, remorse
haunt with the cold draughts
to stir flowers in the vase,
flutter the sash of a curtain
in this sealed room.
In the stones of the walls,
in the boards of the floors,
in the old wavering glass of the windows.
In mind, in soul.
He can’t let go.
She can’t leave.