like the sun eclipsed re-emerging
the land gradually dawning
birds waking again.
not your breath but your perfume
just a trace — familiar, austere —
declines in the room
like a cloud moving away
the glare returning
colours bleached and bare.
not your words but the place
on the page erased
where a shadow remains
like a building emptied
or a statue burning
a space yet to be filled.
shirts, the torment of our sheets
your keys from the bowl
all these things, these you-things
like a door closing or a film
framed by a door of an empty house
the sound running down as we pull away.
the likenesses pile up
times when I mistake one thing for another
shadows for anime, windswept for blown back
the press of the tide for knowledge (of some sort)
hands waving hello for hands waving goodbye —
not your touch but your absence.
Image: Flannel Flowers (Actinotus helianthi ) c. 1900-1910 – from State Library of NSW Flickr .
And for your listening pleasure here’s Thomas Tallis’ (from mid to late 1500s) Mass for Four Voices – sung by Chapelle du Roi – as one youtuber put it “Sublime magnifique merci.”