THE GARDEN OF THE MOON

 

There is a shadow,
like a dream too delirious to light with language,
whispering more of what swam away
than what smears this still water
I trudge through below a bitter moon
that has made his garden in this breast of man.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This is a repost for a week of moon and stars

AMSTERDAM CALLING

I heard you today 
on the metro, 
in the morning, 
words falling
from foreign tongues 
as the train took me
so much further 
than the tracks permitted. 

I heard you today
in the distance,
calling, 
after the departure, 
a language dissolving the borders 
that bind us now broken 
but a hold still held
that I hadn’t considered. 

I heard you today 
from the other side of the track,
on the other side of goodbye 
where I knew 
the grass was greener,
where the felt 
the need was greater,
I heard you
still existing 
encore
nog steeds 
within me
but buried deep
under movement, metros 
and current concerns. 

I heard you today
on the other side of the metro,
in this new metropolis of old
unstoppable,
unbreakable, 
unforgiving,
unchanging,
while I stop
and fall
and break
and change
yearly
monthly
weekly
daily
 
I heard you today
as you whispered 
from my memories
a delightful
hello. 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

The Christmas Kiss that Wasn’t Mine

For two months

I’d waited for you-

Adrift for a time from

The mere sensation of even

A stranger’s touch-

Not knowing it was you,

Of course,

But for that longed for warmth

To envelope me.

How funny

And how easy

You became my Christmas present-

Mon cadeau.

My only gift had been a self-bought

Over-sized,

Under-priced

Tatty jumper

And then you arrived-

Dropped yourself at my table

In your yellow rain-coat

With slightly drunk,

Tear-filled eyes-

Lonely for your lover

Who’d flown home to family.

You’d been abandoned

For three days,

Or so you thought-

Till you were in my arms

Amid a darkening street

In The Marais

And each kiss goodbye,

That started as a cordial bisou,

Seemed never quite enough

And your hands-

Finding their way easily inside my clothing-

Felt only teased

By what they had not yet

Touched.

I wanted to take you home-

My hotel-called-home,

With it’s corner balcony that hid

All but the tip of Notre Dame

And my pillows-

Like feather-filled lozenges

That enticed no sleep,

But my concierge had other ideas-

Even on Christmas night

No guests meant no guests,

However cold it was outside

And however innocent

We attempted to look

While the imprint of your lips

Burnt away on my neck.

And so I found myself

On the red sofa

Of your Les Halles living room

Amid your cat and dog,

With His scent everywhere-

Upon the delightfully pillow-like pillows I slept on

And in the painters nightshirt

You dressed me in,

Later on,

When the kisses stopped

And the dawn’s cold air

Dropped by.

We had nothing in common-

Not even a language-

But we were both alone

Amid a city of fairy lights

And family affairs

And what else mattered.

I awoke each night

As you stroked the hair from my face

With your architectural hands-

Your eyes pouring into me-

Looking, perhaps,

For a deeper meaning

Or some forgivable

Justification

But there was nothing

But our basic needs.

Even as you suggested to stay

In contact-

You knew my eyes

Saw your sophomoric lies

And twisted attempts

At half-truths-

Trying to clutch onto something

New and different

In the midst of the complacency

You’d created around you.

There was nothing more

Than two boys

And three nights,

So much shared in silence-

The inevitable not needing a voice.

I waved you goodbye

That last morning

Inside your age-old building,

On your spiraled staircase,

Half a floor below you

With your scent covering me-

Like a blanket

That’s never quite big enough

To stay wrapped in

Forever,

And your cat stated back at me-

Questioning me through half-closed,

Sleep-filled,

Feline eyes,

Sensing the betrayal of the situation

Which she had slept through most of

And I was walking away from.

Behind your green eyes and blond hair

You wondered

How I could mean

So much

In so short a time.

Was it minutes later until his return-

Did you wash the sheets?

Did you hold him

As if he were me

In that bed,

Beneath the darkness

Where we once found each other

And took pleasure in the taste?

Did the cat snarl out the affair

Before you

Or did I dream it all-

The three nights,

The two boys

One brown,

The other blond

And the swift sweet unwrapping

Of mon Cadeau?

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