A red flash. That night again -
the polish and candlewax,
fresh breeze through the shutters,
the distant clatter of a market assembling.
First light - the red rag of departure, of a whorehouse,
of a dippling wing, and the fluttering after,
then you standing in the doorway,
light pouring in, crusty, taking days to dry.
I mistook your grey eyes for distance,
your metaphor for a matador
misspelt in a glossy magazine,
for anger, for envy, for a cow
in the garden stalking its daisy prey,
for fireworks over the sultry piazza,
neurons firing randomly in a classroom.
Speechless, throwing my whole weight
against unyielding language. Splinters,
the best I could do, alone as the door slammed.
No blood - shadow, a filling outline, a puddle.
Next time it could be yellow, a cornfield,
a grey bird startled, lightning waking
a shepherd on the heather of chalkscarred hills.