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The Absence of Letters

 

I must choose life, and it is here with you

When with a hair-tossed flourish, and all bare,

You take on its stand the candle and walk through

Dark rooms to the unlit bathroom, where we

Like figures from some medieval mystery

Take a hot bath together, whispering, aware

As here we are wreathed in perfumed steam,

Of the whipping night outside and the long scream

Of the gale. There's nothing else to be satisfied

After our hours together, except we be

Cleansed and calmed and, fragrant, dried,

Then wrapped in dreamless sleep.  And suddenly

Poor Yeats, you say, besotted with Maud Gonne!

All those letters!  Between us, hardly one.

 

Gerry Cambridge

 

 

From Madame Fi Fi's Farewell: And Other Poems,
Luath Press Ltd., Edinburgh, Scotland 2003.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

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