I see you there – darkened room, your curtains wide,
a frame to midnight neon skies. The place quite clear
of all but air; just scrubbed pine table, sideboard,
creaking chair. Silence hangs heavy, tired sighs draw
it in; your eyes on lone bottle, long-emptied of gin,
that now slowly fills with old envelope scraps, torn
paper, peeled layers of soaked, beery mats –
whatever creased thoughts can be scratched upon
are feathery curls (it doesn’t take long) to build
up the word-pile that’s near-reaching the top with
each delicate pause, every uttered full stop.
Spent time has fast-beggared some old, lucid thoughts,
spun them like lost coins, slipped words into knots.
Though black as tar-pitch is outside and within,
Midas grasps bottle’s neck, spills light fingers down in
upon this lexicon of love, fear, exasperation, hate:
these stirrings of feeling locked-fast by life’s gate.
Warm-fed you are still by this slow-burning fuel and
of each hot-licking flame you have never your fill
but wait patient and calm ‘til some magic combusts
this bottled intent into sprayed rainbows of glass
that then form the window giving onto the dream
whose pains you so easily up-and-fly in-between
to be on that beach where each bottled message goes;
to be safe in the hands of the one person that knows.
I see you there – where thieving dark is no more:
always-plain-daylight gilds that warm, endless shore.
Words stopped in dark bottles may yet be expressed:
What you feel, that is all – and your brightly-lit best.