Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I Populate a Private Europe

On most warm nights you will find us
walking the streets on the edges of the
inner city. Sandstone terrace houses
come right up to the pavement, there are no
lawns, no patios. People sit on their stoops
or first-floor balconies to take the air. Sycamores
grown up over the last two centuries
blunt the streetlights. Their branches stretch
to the houses, we walk beneath them, shutting
each other out of our thoughts in the same way
the trees shut out much of the light. I drift
through the mixed metaphors of a private Europe,
populate my dreamy avenues with those I'd like
to find there. You prefer to watch the passers-by,
to take them on some private dance, up the street
down the street round the corner where the real
action starts. They're innocent you say as I
question your glances. I reply that innocence
is a presumption, something you lay
tenuous claim to in the hope no evidence
will be forthcoming that proves you
otherwise. In the dimness I risk the moral
high ground. There is no innocence in the way
either of us interact with our separate populations.

from Sun Moon's Mother, just published by Poetic Inhalation

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