St Juire, France
I fled England like a fugitive.
Exiled, I flew south to a forgotten
corner of France to tuck myself away
in a world of orchards and stone cottages.
You told me to forget about you.
Time and time again, you have
ordered me to forget.
Summer, last year, suffering
from a familiar hurt under
a different sun, I tried to scrub
myself clean; never worked.
Now I am trying to lose my shadow.
At noon I stand like a sundial
and you disappear into me.
I feel your breath on my neck,
then you whisper from the inside
of my ear: "Forget... Forget..."
Like calling into a funnel,
you climb that tunnel in and out of my mind.
I lie in the sun for hours,
trying to scorch you from my skin,
turn myself to stone. But still not alone.
I try to drown you in the pool,
loitering under water by the filter;
beg the current to drag you away.
But I can never hold my breath
for long enough.
Night is the worst. In my bed,
below a square of sky;
canvas, framing the moon
that stares back so utterly Earth-struck.
You are next to me, begging me to dream -
dream us back into our old fantasy...
back to September, when we thought
we had an eternity.
Then on the ninth day, you get up
to leave. Tired of fighting me,
you are willing to go away.
And that's when I turn to you,
brush your fingers,
and beg you, please, to stay...