It’s no use walking the beasts of my longing without you, compañero,
you whose name means stone the sun
moves across. Remember our house, and the statuary of clouds
drifting through the rooms? And the sheets and blankets of our habits,
and ourselves two hounds lying down. We loved
like we fought, slugging our way toward each other,
sending up flares to announce our advance. And when our city
burned, we stood in the ashes, and admired each other’s
bodies. Now I ask you: how will we manage
without the steadiness of our long unhappiness?
Can you say you don’t miss our furious
putting up with each other? The silver waves
go on polishing themselves. The sun goes down
alone. Tell me: is this
as it should be? My body goes on
without you burnishing its crevices. Without
your faults, there is no salt. I will not again be fat.
Even my hair will abandon me, like a woman walking away
until you can’t see her. So what
if I’m given other dawns? I ache
for the grandeur of uproar. Light
brings on its armadas of taxis and butterflies,
and I’m forced to go into the street
and talk to agreeable strangers.
James Tolich is a photographer currently based between New York and Sydney.