You remind me
of Dietrich, or Gabo
in a station restaurant,
or maybe of Piaf with Picasso
against a yellow Lautrec poster.
I see you in profile, your half smile.
But It’s how I see your head turning
that makes me think back on
stories you might have been painting,
although gone from the place where I listened,
drinking ‘Pig’s Blood’, and our waves of talking
washed with ‘partners’, ‘resisting’ and ‘light – change’.
I suspect Picasso of the clairvoyance of sunlight,
Baudelaire’s colour poetry of Bull’s Blood,
and Dietrich of stinking of Gauloises.
You might have said,
Bogart wasn’t getting enough,
inventing distance, like Gabo,
you remind me of my once-upon-a-time uncle,
hymning Lilli and Edith in the hollow nights of Résistance,
preaching Baudelaire, and the peeling of grapes,
dying of Riesling, and sexual ambivalence.
Here children gather like feathers on pebbles,
crabbing brown fingers on gnocchi with butter,
or hurtle in a windspray of rock-climbing,
while I accuse you of loving too much.