To Bettina, with Angry Tenderness
Great Zimbabwe, Matopos: they to me return
You feverish with visions of mortality:
I dare not hold your fragility tightly
But through anger’s gentle kiss remould you
With my intimacy to your former state.
Brief acquaintance, dredged by shared experience,
Is now a harbour for the biggest tankers
Or the human spirit: Mainz, Harare. Maputo,
Cologne, Lusaka: the loneliest breeze
Is part of the astounding cyclone.
Forget ever the pain that teases your eternal sight:
Finite impurities will never dim your tormented inscape!