I REMEMBER LOVING YOU
I remember loving you.
You turned my heart into a koan I haven’t cracked yet.
You were a muse of dark matter.
A Mayan phase of the moon
that kept your predictions to yourself.
You were the unified field theory
that made me feel I knew why I was here.
That my abysmal ignorance
was the ore
of infinite enlightenments to come
each one a world of its own
we were free to start with each other.
I remember touching your skin
as if I were reaching out to a ghost
to see if it was real.
Even now after all these years
I can recall the sensation
as if I were holding
a first folio edition of Shakespeare
that no one knew anything about.
A kind of preternatural reverence
for the profound and rare
so intense that whenever we were together
I was always in the presence
of something more than real.
I saw extraordinary beauty and power
in the most ordinary things you said and did.
My will wasn’t so much
bent to yours
by force desire or cupidity
as made irrelevant.
And I remember being astonished
to see how little effect
gravity had around you.
How I bounced around
like a helium balloon
on the ceiling of any room you’d walk into.
How every time I saw you
I could feel my eyes evolve
to accommodate the vision
and see deeper into the dark.
You were such an intriguing planet
if I’d been Jupiter before I met you
I still would have gladly
abdicated from the solar system
just to be your orbiting telescope.
You were all those species of life
the Amazon keeps a secret.
Cures for diseases
I didn’t even know I suffered from
until I met you.
You were the mystery made tangible.
You were the lightning insight that cracked the mirror.
You were the perennial avatar of woman
in every universe
that was worth returning to.
I remember seeing you in the late sixties
sitting in a windowsill
with nothing but a gun and slip on
as the song Spoonful by the Cream
blared out from the heavy hippie drug house
at the top of the hill
over the whole despairing neighbourhood
like an anthem and a challenge all in one.
You smiled like the Mona Lisa
with a special
enigmatically bored with the adoration
you commanded from the blind
who’d never seen anyone like you before.
You looked at me like a silver bullet
but the silence was crucial
and I knew it wasn’t time to go off.
Someone told me your name
as if they were trying to frame
a dangerous alias
but I knew you knew way back then
I could see through them
and the best way to be your friend
was to stay a stranger to the end.
Eight years later in the mid-seventies
I was invited to a field-party
that turned out to be
a snakekpit of holy rollers
baptizing the faithful with a dirty syringe
as they tied you naked to a stake
to burn you like a witch
because you were the most flammable woman in the room.
But I knew you were safe
because fire doesn’t burn fire
water doesn’t drown fire
and danger isn’t afraid of itself
but I broke a few glass fangs
like toxic chandeliers
that had gone into a trance
just in case of an emergency
to cover your back
as the whole place went up in flames.
You said I guess you expect me to say thanks?
And I said no
I don’t run trap lines
to lure my friends
into cages of gratitude.
Put your clothes back on.
I’ve got nothing you want right now.
And it was three years until I saw you again.
And it was then we connected like stars
in an occult constellation of two
and I made love to you
as if we were both on death row
for the same heresy at last.
You were the first
to reverse my spin
in a charged particle field
and show me that love isn’t perfect
until the annihilation is rapturous.
And look at me now
wherever you are
laughing or in tears.
I’ve been singing in those flames for light years
and I haven’t recanted yet.