OR (June 7,1979 / South Africa)


This bed
in the finished morning,
white masses
returned to rest,
pillows, like a departing dream,
losing their head moulds.
There’s a crease,
and another
one, look,
just there
where you were lying,
you timed your perfume
to perfection.
An indentation,
anything, anything
that recalled the mist
mashed up with berries
and leaves
that welled up with the tears
of your sleeping skin.
No sound anymore,
nothing from the covers,
nothing from the mattress,
from our chests
and their towered throbbing.
If I leave now
will the bed’s resplendence
Would it continue
to seek out or savour
the long nights,
hold them somewhere
in its drapery?
The sieved hours,
the cavernous kissing,
the deep notes repeated
from the back of your arms,
my clandestine wonderment
of your body’s untied profile
creating new limbs
and increasing
their supple number
night after night
after night.

The curtains are open.
Everything you shut in
when you entered
the bed
has left again,
with the resonance
of a deaf man’s
dying breath.
Your bare feet with
their contours of rain
on concrete, your
damp hair with
its inscription of steam
curling around
your ears,
that diamond bracelet,
all of it,
all your intuitive affections,
all gone.
Only those parts that
escaped my attentions
or ducked my kiss
have stayed behind.
Your clothes
from yesterday
lie in the wash basket,
piled up
like a summer of sluggish bees
drunk on honey,
by their gluttony.
I can smell me,
my hands
my mouth,
all along the seams.
the bed quietly
keeps its life in us,
inventing shadows
and repeating histories,
protecting with its sheets
our secret lives.

by Oliver Roberts

Other poems of ROBERTS (33)

Comments (1)

Oliver....this flows very well, and the imagery is fine, though I had a problem with 'mist/mashed up' which doesn't seem to be the appropriate verb. Also, 'Everything you shut in when you entered the bed have left again, ' should use 'has' instead of 'have.' I like your poems. They remind me of another poet who once posted here. Take care, John