He passes under
the dying streetlamps'
darkening splashes on his face,
against the rooftops.
The tarmac, painted with his footsteps,
white lines of vertebrae
tickle along its back.
Lovely glass, shattered fragments
ruffle the curb of the pavement,
strands of rainwater
whisper along the gutter
in hymnal honesty; and sunlight seems swallowed
by the swollen beast of night.
prickle at the back of his memory,
a nervous pattern of speech,
syllables of iambic chattering
teeth against the cold:
the hotel window, shining with
the gaze of a thousand tourists' wonderment,
is where his own eyes rest,
as if the world is born anew
and love-songs spike the evening air
his life-tousled hair. He
walks on, passes on,
a stranger in a foreign land;
the moonlight seems
to turn about him, embrace his form,
a lonely touch, not quite animate in its caress,
but his love was the colour
of seawater on gravel,
and he would not take the taste of her breath away
for all the world.