Imagine the tenderness –
him knowing, the others not,
or even if sensing this was the end
of the road, not rumbling
the plot. His sadness
at losing such imperfect love
such human love
love you could touch.
The crowded room, the puzzled looks,
the cooking smells.
Whether it happened is now irrelevant,
or how or anywhere or anytime.
Nor is it just a yearning to believe
in who we hope he was or hope he meant.
It’s not really about him at all.
It’s how his story makes us long to be
the sounder selves we’ve shaped to live the tale
which tests us daily and which leaves us wanting
its almost world, in which we do not fail.
We woke together to the morning light.
I heard these words like birdsong in my head.
But will they say what I have never said?
And would you understand? –
that what may be fiction must be felt as fact
to solve our loneliness, and take the hand
each holds out in that real, invented land.
First published in Dream Catcher 37, July 2018