nederlandse taal
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Poetry International Web
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I could, of course,
walk to your house
and die on its step.

Warm from your bed,
mistaking my rattling
teeth for the milk

you’d open the door
in pink slippers
and find me lying there

with one eye open.


I spy . . . the last star
to disappear
through a giant curler in your hair.


In your absence
which is the rest of my life
and unlike Archimedes

who calculated the earth’s mass
in grains of sand

I will devote my sentence
to counting the minutes
as they fall

through the hourglass of your days.


The cat idles on my chest.
I hold your letter up to the sky.

How to decipher
your feline y’s, crucified t’s
open-topped a’s and o’s?

The cloudy watermark
becomes a woman’s face.


I want you close before I go.
I want you in the fire’s glow
then outside in the graveyard’s dirt.

I want you where the tide is low
and the sea’s lips barely part
for breath to say “I told you so.”

I want you close before I go.


I’ve made you my password.
Your name lets me in each day,
your name and your age.

Absurd, how these plastic keys
diminish you, stay silent
when your name is played

and how easily, without knowing,
you let me in each day.


Once I whispered in your ear
in the shrubbery of a summer.

I even bought you a ring.
That was something.
Can you hear me singing

at the kiss-gate still,
at the sea wall?
Did we meet at all?


Here’s something cold for you –
the intelligence of water.
(I should like to see you shiver).

Lay down in its equation.
It will soon work you out,
intricately at first, then harder

lifting your back from the bed
so you’re half-fish, half-woman.

Years after you’ve surfaced
shivering, golden, I’ll be here,
student of the river

the cold pool where you lay.


It must have happened years ago,
this light between us, this hurt.  
I want you close before I go.


In the fire’s glow,
in the graveyard’s dirt,
where the tide is low . . .


Who will console this room
now that you’ve come and gone?

The wind in the chimney?
The smouldering grate?

The last star
in its universe burns

then disappears.