Benjamin X Wallace
My hands remember you and how we’d cling in the damp blooming meadow,
watching the sailing ships drift through the lazy green spears.
Count the sails as they pass, our bodies curled in the endless grass,
laughter drifts away, gently on, as we hear the springtime calling her children,
return them to the fold, to grow for summer’s girl.
We lay in the endless grass, where we lost the wedding ring,
to the lying tongued, blinding night.
Now we keep a light on,
but really it’s just my fear of shutting my eyes.
I’m scared that when I open them again, you won’t be there,
even though my hands remember every inch of you.
Like the places I can touch, to make you laugh,
to make you squirm, to make you all the more mine.
The afternoon flings the bay windows open;
the sunlight lopes in to lick at your feet,
as the flick of your wrist settles a quilt for tonight’s sleep.
Though I daren’t close my eyes, I have to sometimes.
And here we lay, in the deepening green,
rolling together in the endless sea.
I forget your name, but I know your face,
as I sit and mend your tattered clothes,
while time herself steps around me,
working on a task adored,
and the rope around me burns.
In the kitchen you’d stand, while I pricked myself with a silver needle,
stirring gently a pot of porridge, you know, you always made it.
Even if we still believe the songs our mother’s sung,
I still believe the ones you sing while we work.
Even the china doll you took from home,
while sleeping soundly in the cradle I built,
even she cries when you’re not here.
I lie in the grass, holding her to me,
because she smells like you,
and weep into her porcelain eyes.
I hope the ground remembers your feet,
to bring you back to me swiftly.
Our days are endlessly numbered,
as I wash and dry the doll’s dress,
remembering the time I pulled you from a bed of fallen leaves,
the golden, browns and reds attending your hair.
The same time, I announced your name,
even though you have one, now, I remember it.
But then, to me, you were autumn,
now names across the sea,
to close the windows and sit and think of me,
listen for the sound of sewing buttons,
fumbled fingers and a pricking of thumbs.
There are times, for us, in these endless numbered days.
Time for us, us alone.