Love Comes Back
10 July 2016
A poem from Hera Lindsay Bird's debut collection.
Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25), released Thursday 14 July.
Like your father,
twenty years later with the packet of cigarettes he went out for
Like Monday but this is the nineteenth century
& you’re a monied aristocrat with no conception of the working week
Like a haunted board game
pried from the rubble of an archaeological dig site
You roll the dice & bats come flooding out your heart
like molten grappling hooks
your resolve weakening...
like the cord of an antique disco ball...
Love like the recurring decimal of some huge, indivisible number
or a well thrown boomerang
coming to rest in the soft curve of your hand
Love comes back...
like a murderer returning to the scene of the crime...
or not returning...
yet still the crime remains...
observed or unobserved...
written in blood on the walls of some ancient civilisation
in an idiom so old
we have no contemporary vernacular equivalent
Love like Windows 95
The greatest, most user-friendly Windows of them all
Those four little panes of light
Like the stained glass of an ancient church
vibrating in the sunlit rubble
of the twentieth century
Your face comes floating up in my crystal ball...
The lights come on at the bottom of the ocean
& here we are alone again...
we ride the black escalator of the mountain
& emerge into the altitude of our last year
The rabbit in the grass gives us something wild to aim for
It twists into spring like a living bell
I have to be here always telling you that
no matter how far I travel beyond you
love will stay tethered
like an evil kite I want to always reel back in
As if we could just turn and wade back
through the ghost of some ancient season
or wake each morning in the heat of a vanished life
Love comes back
from where it’s never gone ... It was here the whole time
like a genetic anomaly waiting to reveal itself
Like spring at the museum, after centuries of silence
the bronze wings of gladiator helmets trembling in their sockets...
Grecian urns sprouting new leaves...
Love like a hand from the grave
trembling up into the sunlight of the credit sequence
the names of the dead
pouring down the screen
like cool spring rain
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