In a back street,
Rain has fallen,
Lies in pools.
A man throws away
His cigarette. It hisses,
Dying, in the wet.
And she throws caution
To the wind that blows
Her hair in shadows
Round her face.
Whatever moon there was is hidden now,
Its glow highlights the scowling clouds.
The man, in passing, glances,
Streetlamp shine reflected in his eyes.
She sees herself in the puddles at her feet,
And the same light bending, its electricity
Sparking across the mirrored street.
In stories of love, people meet
As if the mysteries of gender
No longer keep them apart,
And what they hunger for,
Whatever empty space they conceal inside,
Assumes a shape they cannot name.
Across the dismal street their eyes go questioning
The magnetics of sight, the telemetry of distance.
Too far, too near to foretell this moment or the next
Through such rain and such unconvincing wind.
They approach, hands reaching out to test
The probabilities of love, to take
The random pulse of desire.
In stories of love, parallel lives converge,
Light curves across the rain and emptiness.
Men and women, women and men, meet.
In half-lit lanes that lead from roads and pathways,
The curling mist from homes, vented like stone breathing,
Rises overhead; they embrace and look for something
In each other’s eyes. Tilted faces seek recognition:
Eye to eye, face to face, bodies leaning into want or need,
For, hope of hopes, the momentary touch
On love’s elusive, ecstatic nerve.
© BH, 2016
If it’s after dark, it’s probably dysfunctional. If it’s been raining, well…
Some entwined thoughts about love stories and the people who struggle to be in them. Clichés and stereotypes apart, this is about another kind of story. One altogether more clandestine or desperate. One where the happy ending is hard to define and very very temporary.