Friday, 28 February 2014

FAR FROM ROME by Vahni Capildeo

The blue dusk settles at a rate,
and fields can be forgotten
as they are; as-they-were appear
uppermost, lidded, swept smooth;
beneath, left still, kiln-fired
vessels belonging to him,
pleasing to his strong, torn hands –
so very much not in Rome,
this redeployed general.

The sea mixed in your eyes,
arrived at cruel decisions
yet stalling execution.
I would have sworn to die for you
sooner than try to live with you.
The sea swarms in my ears.
I sift your breath through mine.
A modern probe might take me
for less-than-human remains,
for nail-seed dirt and cumin.
I wouldn’t mind; being her,
and yours.

            But not in this life –
the intolerable one
which, when the blue dusk scratches,
lends it my eyes. To discern,
alone, your life, indicts me.
Such knowledge a reburial.
Turn me to copper, one of you
gods he only temporized with:
melt me down then score me
the music for last things.

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