Woke with a memory of Lydia, when she was
just fourteen, with a loose-toothed smile and
dirty blonde hair, looking at me like I could fix things.
She told me a poem in my dream, we were standing
by the water of the Thames, then we were older, and
the water was still green and grey, dirty.
No one was dying yet. There were papers. It was urgent.
“Trawling the street in front of
the police station, Emma’s photo in one hand and
your letter in the other,
waiting for tomorrow.”
And Sara keeps asking me about the seeds, those white,
pearly things in my dirty hands. Like teeth. Like a broken but
immensely valuable gold chain, tied in knots, the kind you can spend
hours shaking apart, and still never undo.
Oh, all right, the seeds, the smooth, time-heavy warmth and Oh!
the promise in those seeds, the seeds:
promises of flowers, Lydia with her funny smile, and lovely Sara, and Giotto with his broad loving backs, and those round, white, eggy, fragile seeds.
And the love that no one can ever paint just right, so we make do with poems, and flowers, and dreams, and still life, and real life.