Monday, 2 May 2016

A selfish grief

The light today is Atlantic.
It pares the horizontals
and blazons backyards.
It has a sharpness
about it that refutes
the possibility of escape
into hidden garden corners.

Wherever we look,
we're exposed – at odds
with ourselves, picked out
like negatives of photographs
that one day might be developed
(although that now too is an image
which makes no sense).

Beyond the silhouette of myself,
cars gleam like beached whales
and clouds make their own shadow.
And here again I’m at another loss,
remembering a selfish grief,
the words that were said and weren’t
in a room that stinks of aftermath.

We were making apologies
to each other on the sofa
which my father’s cousin found
at least a moment’s respite on.
Outside, the gulls flexed
and then disappeared
into the bevelled blue and white
of a horizon cut along
the far edge of the sea.

Tom Phillips