Extraneous to a house
As I watched myself
Inside, combing my hair
And walking about as if
I owned the place, which I did;
Re-arranging a shelf I had
No business organising
Books alphabetically by author
And ornaments I bought
On travels around the continent.
I pounded at the pane and
I shouted to no great avail,
My voice as light as partial hail
As it melts on a lawn, early April.
I couldn’t hear my outside-self think.
Held by an undressed woman,
You danced across the kitchen
Captivated by her supple spell,
Her hair in a band and laden
With all the meaning of murex-purple Embroidered silk.
A sash fell down, and you
Both collapsed against the sink
Where I used to wait
For the immersion tank to work,
Its creaking pipes would groan
And from my vantage admire
On salmon terracotta tiles
Willow baskets, jasmines in pink.
Your feet looked just like mine.
I became a voyeur to myself
And could not help but disappear
Into my own open mouth
Where all my words ran out.
I changed the locks to myself.
Many years later I lived
In a quintessentially different city,
Stood in a different pair of sneakers
At a different kitchen window,
Yet I never could forget
My tergiversated self,
Collapsing on the verge of that house,
Aware of all we could deserve
And all we could not help.