Someone Dying
Uncollected, circa 1988

We sample each other –
Looks, words, thoughts –
Excepting touch which we
Dare not use for fear of exhibition.
Through the circling seasons
Growing closer, glances becoming
More acute, an amplified willingness
To follow another's hand to where it rests.
Hovering above and abdomen
Almost cloaked in pain;
Never quite revealing why
The laughter's twinge becomes a grimace.

And, almost to despise myself,
I fall in love again.
The old sorrow is never wholly extinguished:
The yearning to overcome another's hurt
By sublimating my own identity,
Mergine with a disparate personality.
Consider an Englishman – do the
Ties of stoicism learned at public school
Ever break beneath the weight of an admiration
Almost mythical in its intensity?

If I strive too hard at being liked
Will the object of my affection
Shy away, return to the home cocoon?
This feeling inside of me:
I am burning, drowning
In a deluge of fire.
Spilling compassion for the lonely child
In the days of long rain my soul sings
For peace and longevity.

It's wearing and weary,
Standing in a silhouette of Christmas Cheer
Believing hope is likewise damned.
All those ambiguities of mortality
Feed the luxuriance of my melancholia.
If there is to be a death
Let it be open, fuelled by compassion
And the strength of desire,
Not hidden and twisted nor
Warped by an immobile façade.

Please let me be allowed to weep.
For tears can cleanse the soul
And re-ignite the spirit's furnace.
Of what use is horror between two
Men who could be brothers…
Doubting this revelation,
Basking in the wealth of friendship,
Sorrow has murdered joy.

As to the end is he
Entitled to respect,
The right to deny being an invalid?
I should ask for confirmation,
Deny the will in me to suffer too;
Show to the world the integrity of my dreams.
But all that has been broken in me
And I have been damaged ever since.