Silver Scars

Today I washed tear stains out of my pillow.
They stubbornly resisted
The archaeology of life is hiding shallow under a slip
Here, I present my findings – treasures, buried bones
Tell a story of love. Ask me anything?

How to keep love pure, untainted?
Don’t use it, keep it in a locked glass cabinet
Throw away the key.
Pretend it’s unrequited love and walk on down the street
Long for one like a child-hood friend long-missed
Who’ll willingly dig up
Dry bones and tarnished silver?
I’ll show you mine.
No hiding where the sun. don’t. shine.

Does the cello locked in its hard case
Shed a tear when I walk by?
Refuse to hold it between my thighs?
Yes, in a way. But I love it…
She leans against the hallway,
Giving me long looks
Saying, ‘pluck my strings tenderly?’

Love is a many useful thing… Why deprive yourself of it?
It knocks off corners, strips varnish, breaks strings… And gently restores again.
But mostly, love is the sound much like an alto voice
Thrumming on the wind – not kept behind glass
Break in case of emergency

Inanimate love whose heart grew tired
Enveloped itself in armour-proof casing
Forever perfectly preserved.
The velvet curtains closed
Rare finds a happenstance
Love in extended maintenance
Not ready for show
Pull down the shutters on the outside world
Then reveal… slowly

Kiss her sweetly and not so…
In lounge bars full of family reunions at Easter
Hold hands and heads high
Marching through the streets to the tune of tonight’s lullaby
Lips tasting like peppermint chips – mine passionfruit – do those flavours mix?

Dancing in our minds, sparkling gowns
Strictly ballroom, we’ll dance the tango – I’ll be the guy!
Like a queer fairy-tale coming to an end
At the twelve strikes of midnight
In the bus mall – gold carriage turns Metro
No one turns an eye…
‘Look how far we’ve come!’ – is our latent cry…
As we begin a thousand tomorrows
Spoken in whispers over a tear-stained pillow
The flood gates are open

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery