Friday, 15 June 2012

On Passing Her in the Street

Today we almost met.
You with your walnut heart,
your hatchet-blade face sharp-edged
straight on.
Today I realised how deep and wide
is the void between atoms.
How each of us is an emptiness,
each a spinning solar system,
more vacuum than dust.
Today I saw how even if I shouted
loud across that crackling void,
my words would slip between electrons
and fall, useless and unheard.
We none of us are really here,
and if I prised – or prized? – 
your walnut heart there would,
there would, be substance there –
but nothing to my taste. Nothing
but gall to my tongue.
I think, instead, I will hold facts close.
That each cell has its nucleus.
That each atom holds hands only with its kin.
That sometimes we can only speak
to those who speak back
in our own tongue.

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