And now,
With memories as fresh
As still-bleeding self-harm wounds
(not my style, but briefly it was yours)
I write about something
That has always, abstractedly
Been in my words
Since September
And forever.

I don't know if you knew it,
But I knew you before we met.
As a child, I had an imaginary friend
Her name was Rose
And she was beautiful.
Some concepts of romance
Are in built
And she was mine.
And you were her.

Then, some years passed by,
And at the tender age of seventeen (or at least,
two weeks short of it)
I started wearing daffodils
And thought about a change in style.

You thought I was on drugs
And my perceptions have not changed since that
Smoke-soaked night you eased me
Of my melancholy:
It can't have been easy
But you looked like her
And wet hair, doped eyes
Didn't mean a thing,
You were so beautiful.

I hope you know that I have tried to conquer feelings of romance and tragedy, lost perfection after the
best traditions of Nabokov and Gunter Grass, but I have been unable so to do and for that I am sorry.
I do not ask you to read these lines, but let me write so that I can be removed to happier times.

You electrified me with
Every single glance,
A shared emotion
Like a miracle, and I was no unbeliever
When it came to you.

The next week, we met again,
And I assumed that you would reconsider,
And politely decline
An offer of everything
That I could give
And yet
With elegance and such
Vulnerable grace
I almost cried,
We kissed.

You smoked a menthol cigarette, you always did
And my big confession is, I never liked them:
But you did, and so they were part of
Everything divine.

That kiss was something I have never since experienced anew,
Nor ever had before.
It was a resurrection
And I felt like William Powell
Or Steve MacQueen
Or someone I will never be,
Because it was the stuff of dreams
And fantasy.

We stood by the river
And kissed

I longed for us to last forever
And every echo of painful past
Provokes me to dial your telephone number
And plead with you
To take me back
To better times

What then?
For months we walked and smoked and talked
And barely ever drank together:
I do not know why.
I did not need the alcohol
When you were my intoxication
(Some things still are sacred darling,
Alcohol and you!)

Such blissful solitude
As I have always loved
Was gone
Because your touch
Your voice
Your very breath across my face
Was so much more divine
Than divinity itself
Has ever been

And these days, I write more weakly than the past
And, tired, surrender to the tolling bell
That rings within my heart
But no, I stand
And must write on.
I'll never do you justice
And that is my eternal cross to bear.

The sun was tender when I lay with you
On Saturday nights
Or Sunday afternoons.
You always looked so tranquil
And when you wept
(Which, my love, was often)
I longed to kiss the tears away
And shield you from harm
Forever more.

Angels must not ever have to bleed
And the pain I felt
At hurting you
Removed me from myself
For quite a while.

I still have photographs
Which I cannot bear to look upon:
You are so wonderful
And gone.
I still have remnants
Of our past:
A magazine you gave me
When we walked in the rain
And did not mind getting wet.
We danced and kissed and sang
Through the downpour
On the Birmingham Road.
And shared a cigarette
While we waited for your bus.

I still have the book
You bought me
(You shouldn't have, or
Did you know that you were Dolorous
And I loved you
As he loved her?)
And I pick it up from time to time
And read what you have written
And I look away
And try to pretend
That my eyes are watering
Because of the incense smoke.

So many things
That I could relate
But I cannot
Because I would not do them justice

The last time I saw you
You cried
And you sent me a latter soon afterwards
With mystical significance.
That is something
I no longer have:
It caused me such pain
That I gave it to a friend to burn
I lied to him
And said I'd burned your photographs.
I could not bear
To burn
These photographs

That last night together
Tumultuous stupor
I was in my deep abyss
And about to progress deeper still:
I have never told you anything
About the reasons for my madness
And now I shall.

Stupid, heartless romantic
I worried that
We would not last forever
And that you were too young
And I was too boring.
Depressed and not rational
I sought some comfort
In trying to leave paradise
By making you unhappy.
And I did.

And the guilt will never leave me
Neither will the damage I have done:
You may have forgiven this sinner
But I have lost my dreams
And since you left
I have not looked
At anyone
With love or passion,
Brief glimmers of opportunistic
And a couple of snatched gropes

With you it was so different and so beautiful:
No other words than 'making love' could quite sum up
The passion
And the love.

You will never read these words
And I will never ask you to.
But every time your name lets itself
Into my throbbing head
I'm soothed
And tormented
By your love
And your absence.