While We Are Here

You say I would be

just as happy

with another.


I imagine clasping

pretty girls to my

petty, clinging soul.

Do they fit?

But this is only

a permanence

I cannot have.

With you,

I am always

abandoning myself

and arriving in


empty squares of dawn.

And the fresh-faced air,

and all the rushing

locomotives of this

fecund, doomed life

arrive breathless,

with you.

We are fellow travellers

for now,

young, middle-aged, elderly,

and I’m enjoying

the scenery that

sprouts from you:

shifting landscape

of your breast,

your nape,

your brow,

sunlight, shadow,

passing and returning.

And what I take from you

is already a

frayed and curled memento

sent from distant,

exotic childhood.

In my hands,

my eyes,

how beautifully

you are blooming

out of yourself,

and I am left holding

this fragile body

that you’ve loaned me.

Girl of smoldering, orange leaves,

it is only you

who I love to travel with

and I am leaning

out the window

of my fleeing body,

fingering hanging branches

that slip from me,


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014


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