Hearts And Minds

Entry by: cjjartist

4th November 2016
his heart
my mind

(the funeral)

Children in backyards, running cries,
Skipping and chasing round each tiny square of freedom.
Turning over, head stuffed into musty pillow,
A mourning call,
Repeated, driving itself into my head,
The children’s volume turned up, full,
The tolling bell damped, we’ve
Wrapped the clapper tight, his harsh-gasped last wishes,
Hand gripped, begging eyes.

I don't want to remember.

but that’s not why
the cries are too joyful-flooded,
drunk and drowned in smiles and charm.

I shouldn’t be here.

Back pressed against the lumps, damp cooled
Worn sheets as you prolong the second, a dawdled minute
When we forget (the mould stained walls) in each other’s eyes.

hurry up, come back,
meet me, join me.
(bring me candles, I need light!)
An hour of close darkness,
Old wisteria, we tangle round ourselves,
A star winks at me
Through the cracked ceiling.

a sudden flash
an explosion of one thousand dazzling cuts

and I begin to remember.

I grab you by your shirt collar
and we run, run flat out.

The coffin lies there, statuesque,
Or empty

he never asked for this

they never listened

In my hand, clenched tight, his last will;
No one here to read it:
not the present,
not the missing,
everyone, who should be here, unexists.

eyes, tight shut,
hold back, hold back:

Soft-light arched doorways,
The murmur of prayers
Floating incense-coated,
Minarets touching the sea-dark sky,
A bridge leading to market,
Headscarves, cigarettes,
Old boots, stubble, flecked grey,
Scent of paprika, spice of cinnamon,
Rub into my skin, into my blind spot

a morning of women’s screams,
metallic spit of gunfire
and we ran, ran flat out,
you grabbed my hand and never let go,
held nothing but memory and hope.

The dead-cracked bell with its constant knell
Slow-beating a farewell,
A relief to end the stain-dragged tale.
A wooden box stands between me and mute candles,
My arms cannot reach to light.
A dusk of grey fog fills the void,
Walls, dotted with eye-sockets of war, stare, unforgiving,
You at my side, tie askew, shirt just tucked in

and I remember why I did not want to return.