Floral talismans

Emptying-out is the outpouring of river into sea / I won’t relinquish our summer outings

to Southease though other memories have flowed into their own absences /

our sudden insight into British quaintness was white-clad sportsmen a stone’s throw

from Virginia’s house / I felt the specters on the grass / I pointed

to where my icons had stood / we stood there / you held me there

time’s passing and a resolution to cling only to the transformative had cleansed me /


the year before Virginia held me as I thought about leaving / we ordered pizza

let’s return home to warmth and food / how different from that last visit:

the busy pollution of the road and the stony faces of the busts before /

how cruel my scrutiny is / Virginia’s eyes were unfinished

but my ritual is accidental / the magnet-pull of the water

and the power in the house / Virginia striking a match /

she pulled me from my waking sense of drowning that first time / anchored me /

a stolen white flower produced a sneaking sense of calmness /

the sea into which the Ouse flows obsessed me from the start /

here / I have the pebbles gathered on my path as I homed in on Brighton beach

and I can only wonder what talismans survive / as time rushes on

what we hold now that we may forget entirely/

I swear I won’t relinquish / either / the memory your bouquet

on my desk here above 2017’s demo leaflets


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