I look for you everywhere,
and always return to the casket of lead,
chosen by a careless suitor,
lining ripped out, hoping to find you
nestling inside. Your spirit, two parts gin
distilled in a green opaque glass vial,
one sip may be lethal.
I walk along the endless
corridor smoothed from primordial clay,
miraculously lit inside a dream
where switches often crumble and fail,
pausing only once to step inside the
mausoleum where a lost prince lies in state,
masked in gold, eyes of obsidian
attuned to the dark–but he already belongs
to another world.
Sometimes you are there with me,
just behind my shoulder–I recognise the
echo of your careful tread, but dare not turn around.
I find another chamber further on,
draped with a tapestry, once rich in splendour,
woven with fine thread,
now faded– the crimsons turned to rust.
Reluctant but a little weary,
turning to face north, east, south and west,
I settle for this anteroom of faded brilliance
with epitaph writ in old blood,
and as your whispered promises peter out,
leaving a fragile vein of precious ore,
I lay my head upon the cold flagstones,
dreaming of those eyes, forehead
and lips I will never touch.