What world to which you do not belong What barren place, what days are these What awful thing has laid you down Betwixt this bed alone, you sleep
In a room of ghosts and grime and sin With no bedding to curl against your chest To comfort skin and heart and head Or find reprieve, remember this:
This world to which you do not belong Is not of you or Her or He But a world of them, the scribbled lines of man and man, now man-machine
What of your bed amidst their house Do you make it, leave it, invite them in? Or do you tie the sheets and fashion means To hang your life, go whispering
Along the corridors where they tried to kiss you Beneath the beams of others gone Below the words of men who missed you And missed the most, your unborn son
What now, what world (you’re standing yet - You’ve left the bed and room and curse) “What will you have me do this time What good is left, what use of verse?”
And yonder still, the One you seek Forever held in suspension there Just beyond and just ahead The endless walk to God knows where
But now the ghosts and grime are yours Not all have seen that bathroom floor, Fewer still, been strapped to beds; Freed their limbs and asked for more
Folly! You live; you’re safe and sound And most of ghosts have long since left This talk of lover and beloved, how, When Aleppo burns, lovers bereft
Of beloved, once in bone and flesh Oh God (for what is God but wonder) In what world does hell come breathing thus? Who tears such limbs and hearts asunder?
But this is mine (you speak of light) And that is theirs, by karma dealt If this were true (you once were them) You’d fall to the floor with all you felt
And further into darkness go, With mimicry of the darkest yet, To give all that you could and all that you are To pray in a place where light had left
Throw glitter, glitter at every bent Hold lightly prayers for beloved thine You ask for more but don’t malign A God who’s busy with ghosts and grime.
© julia mary grey 2016