Tag Archives: remembrance

Guilted Youth

Your third (golden) eye flashed

from somewhere near the back of the van,

amidst the jumbled bodies happily

jounced by bad roads.

We’d loved the new band we’d been to see

–Roxy Music, their first tour–

and the thrill of that unexpected sound

fizzed in us like champagne:

it must have gone to my head to remove

my timidity so, make me crawl

awkwardly across that crowded space,

the cast on my wrist spectral in streetlight.

That drunken post-pub football match

on floodlit New Brighton prom;

that outrageous tackle; sailing

slow-motion through the night sky;

my hand meeting summer-dry earth;

a clean snap and a denial

–I’m OK! I’ll go in goal!

Why did I go in goal?

Parrying shot after shot with a

rictus of pain and a swelling which,

after the long walk home,

even I couldn’t deny.

I dreaded you saying something,

I felt so gauche and full of disability but your

smile was as open as your arms:

“O Finn, you found me!”

The kiss we shared was troubled

neither by my cast nor my evident erection,

nor by your unbeautiful beauty,

nor by our pitiful youth.

The trouble was I wanted you too much and you

didn’t want to be wanted so

–not then, anyway: maybe later

when you’d lived a bit more.

But you didn’t live and I

didn’t learn.

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