Tuesday, July 19, 2011


                                         You sat amicably abstracted amid all,

                                       already absent. Each still wanting a piece of you. 

                                       By habit you worked the room ambling

                                       like a walrus, unable to resist making deals

                                       that no longer mattered . For the lunches you politicked
                                       to secure my position alone, you gained three stone.

                                       I glanced at your wife in crimson dress with
                                       Sephardic hooded eyes, black like grapes.
                                       The uneasy alliance made so many years ago
                                        and kept fitfully straight still holds…

                                        In public you do not acknowledge her

                                        sitting  on a different table, back to back.                                         
                                        I said to you then about her in feigned surprise: 

                                       “It was a mature choice!”  And you reddened with pleasure?

                                        We hovered on a line that was never crossed.

                                         But I recall the day you warned me when alone

                                         as if in segue way, though nothing was previously said:

                                         "I am a man of habit not quick to change!"

                                          In private moments the enormity of

                                         of what was left unsaid echoed in my ears.
                                         No regret now but I recall that day when she accepted
                                          bread and salt from my hands. It was done.  

                                          Not clear in retrospect that I had not ensnared myself.

                                          At another occasion I looked at your workman like hands

                                          in public near enough to touch . I felt a girdle of fire   

                                         and found what had eluded me in so many beds. 

                                         The mystery and simplicity of it, marvels me still.

                                                                                                Antonia Baranov

1 comment:

  1. The last four lines are a great close to the poem, love them.