You have been carried for years
on someone else’s lips
(you sound good on paper)
with your island descent
and abyss ascent
and all the spectres forever loyal.

I have not met you but know your women
and tangled tales
(I know far too many details)
of you the shy ghost
who never shows.

We never met but I would like to
shatter the illusion of you –
elusive fabrication
of moonlit conversations.

How I love the dark and desperate
tortured misanthropes!,
in my notion of light
as all healing all powerful –
infectious even to the vicious.

But whatever flare I shed
reflects back from your surface

So I look for you now and then
in thin tall pale messy-haired men.
Real to all but me, my dear
dear friend –
you’re the malleable vessel
I forge again and again.

(Image: Arnold Böcklin, Isle of the Dead)


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