Wonderful and half-mysterious darkened eyes
new lit by Spring within a symphony’s beginning
and sun that shone on treasure in a bluebell wood
and snowmelt trickling from a valley blocked by ice
and toys inside a mullioned window half opaque;
I saw such things within that I could hardly breathe.
Hands gripped like your eyes; we span for sixteen bars,
that thick skirt spinning faster, further, round your legs.
The gaze around your mouth held questions, but your smile
was deep, and milder than the truths we hadn’t said
upon a cheek I couldn’t kiss, and arms and breasts
that shouted out the moment that could never come.
We polka’d round the square; you steered and pulled, I panted,
not believing all the luck I hadn’t had, shadowed by
your eyes sharp on the ground a quarter turn ago,
my eyes that followed yours, your silky hair that sang
around your head. Body and clothes slid underneath;
they menaced the floor with me to teach me how to dance.
That mind turned round our common centre: what was there?
The look that showed you were absorbed in all our motion,
absorbed in being together, absorbed, almost, in me---
all for the sake of thoughts we shared but couldn’t say,
that I could never separate from what I was,
that you could put aside for ever when we stopped.
Words lay written inside where I couldn’t see,
scrawled within your mind a few short feet away,
notes for you to stop and whisper in my ear.
I felt astonishment that all those words I couldn’t hear could even be.
Pass and kick and balance, swap and turn and arch:
the set and pattern marked you a machine for living
sent by unknown forces; angels across the sky
had sent a spirit warm with sweat and hurdy-gurdy,
breathing loud music beating against the other pulse,
the rhythm of your days, the drums and pipes and brass
sounding an endless fanfare after I went flat.
The buzz of things unsaid, the silence of thoughts undone.
In the weeks that followed I heard again the blur
when music dulled and vanished from my ears, and time
and space and dancers in the hall robbed me of you.
I hinted what it meant to me; you took it with a look
of undiluted stillness rippling past your nose and eyes.
You’re hardly taller; I was almost glad, you towered anyway.
And then you glanced away to find that other man,
and gently laid your soft, dark hair across his shoulder.