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Note to a suicide


Neruda saw happiness at the rim of a wineglass, love

In bullet-laced violins (but I am paraphrasing)

Oh, his women are still bread doubling up at breasts

To be loved by one who would never end up sliced on tracks!


See Venice in the winter-flooding, when the sea licks

Pink marble steps, white chairs swimming in their chains

Outside the restaurant where a song burning in the chest

Of the piano makes you forget your feet soaked in the Adriatic!


And here in your Oxford, the daffodils didn’t care about you:

Volcanically they spilled over grass and crocuses,

Swans fight with the geese over their bit of the pond

Drawing a clock on the face of the water, past the vernal equinox


I am sorry you have become only the devastating noise of that day.

There is nothing between you and me other than the cross

Between your death and my continuing life: the tracks were washed

I gave my statement to the Police, I did my stranger’s duty.



[Originally published in NHS 2006, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs06/Bugen.htm.]