Observing the criteria
All the usual signs
Fist at the back of the neck
A stranger to clarity, an impotent thing.
At breakfast she called, requests only now
Wanted to know what time I'd be home
How late could I leave it?
Another man in my place
My childrenís hearts scattered
Rebounding against nothing more solid than shifting intimacies
In a diner called Heaven
Pancakes and coffee
Judy Garlandís belted dramatics dwarfed by the tiny speaker system
"God help me, God help me"
An elderly lady at the counter seized by a fit of sneezing
Neck lodged at right angles to her body hit by tremor after tremor
Her mantra repeated with weary resignation
The place is emptying out
Sunday morning rush is over
The black waitress (one is tempted to say 'negro') an apparition
She walks at a pace practiced by monks
But re-shuffled, made her own.
Rake thin, beautiful bones of enormous fragility
Hard not to admire the effort of will summoned to plough on.
My age? Older, though hard to tell
Clothing well cared for
Crisp whites, impenetrable blacks
History worn on the surface
Pervasive as perfume
If I concentrate hard enough Iíll absorb
All there is to know about her
I fill with an improbable affection
Her presence in the moment lacks conviction
The result of some terrible compromise with the past
Sheís survived whatever once threatened to erase her
The present propelling her forwards despite the anchor of memory
If we could will the heart to immobility
How many left standing?
Second wave, pancakes
coffee or tea
I wonder, is it possible
to love someone
who doesn't know
Copyright 2004 David Sylvian / Opium (Arts) Ltd.
Click here for the David Sylvian Texts index.