Naked against a background
of darkening blue, the coldness
of their embrace is cinematic:
mimicking multitudes, containing
no one. You can trace the
with your fingernail
on a window pane - not only
the segments of the act, but the matrix
from which it is removed.
Time now to make your own way
back through the empty gallery. The logic
of the cut is in the space it leaves.
Spring may have come already
but your coat feels thin. In the square
they are bent over their stalls.
You move among them, hesitant
like some stray who has wandered
into a picture painted centuries ago.
Your face dissolves when you drop
a coin into the fountain. The scene
may sparkle but you feel
the pull of its undertow. When you settle
at a table, the images swim back
to the surface of a brimming carafe.
Bridges criss-cross the city,
trace a picture you cannot
know in its completeness.
Buildings reach down
into the water. So many faces
you will never see again, bodies
pressed together through rain.
Each turning takes you
deeper. Now she asks
if you will turn out the light.
She grows warmer
in your stumbling hands.
The streaky reflection seems
more real than the face itself.
In the blue of the eyes
there are questions you would like
to forget, even if this means
wandering without a past.
Yet the picture still exists
when you turn away from it:
a window is lit, a figure leans
at the edge of the darkening
square. Rain makes its own
rhythm on your skin.
Ian Seed, 2008.