Monday 13 May 2024

Barbican Garden

Alone in the Barbican garden,
every muscle aching from the fight the night before,
I remembered hard words in Victoria station,
an overnight bus ride, your body, the walk
through the builders’ yard, the cheap hibiscus
shower gel I’ve never found anywhere since. 

Sitting on concrete I wrote in my notebook
(my small joints hurt less than my shoulders),
not about you because you were too present for
words, might still be now: present in the pain-
tings you had recommended, which I made a note
to see. Now, with exhausted pain less of a novelty,

I see how they inspired your own, and I see
why you said what you said to me, what
you saw in a body like mine, how the way 
I held back had frustrated you. But there,
in that Brutalist garden, all I knew
were the bruises you left me with

and my resentment of the fact 
that they would fade.

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