Pearson / Poetry

like stones back onto the ground

“The Lovers Fall Like Stones Back Onto the Ground”
Cyril Wong


Gods never just go. Their presence must have
left its mark. Look at Mohini’s footprints,
for example, across the night’s vast garden-
how they have bloomed into stars.

We are nothing like the gods. We will never be
remembered for the time we attempted
the waltz on the balcony, as the stars
blinked drowsily, the moon like a frozen yawn.

Even with one of us gone, would not the mind
of the other reveal its universe, its constellation
of memories like a field of flickering candles,
the same face at the centre of every flame?


Take our cue from time, the master. Learn to weigh
everything equally: hope and grief, two sides
to a partner we should love unconditionally.

Learn to love a clean kitchen, as well as the ants
around the bin like the spoor of something
left unsaid, something important.

To love the illness, the perspective earned thereafter.

To try and love death; how heroic the attempt.

Then we fail, the hours pressed too thinly.
Mirrors draw out a cry from inside the womb
of a mind swollen with terror.

Then we stop to gather the pieces again. To love
the pieces as they are, scattered all around us.

But look at how we have been tempered,
the selves that wanted and kept wanting-

they just ask for more of the same now.

Let us not give the years too much credit
for how far we’ve come,
for what we have become.

To love the smell of rain, the cold rain on our faces.

Love the thunder and the sleep it cracks open.

What we have now. And what will come after.


Here between the country
that will not remember our love
and the sea, our clothes spill

like sand from a tilted
palm. Then we are walking
arm in arm. We are gazing

in the same, unwavering direction.
There is no need to mourn
for what we have left behind.

Look as our footprints
evaporate when we approach
the chiming of waves, waves

rising and tugging at us like joy.
This is not an ending
and time has not been

unkind. We reach the edge
of our lives. We stop in awe
of how much further we have to go.

I haven’t left D’s room for anything significant in the past … 36 hours. On a positive note, however, I have made many pretty note cards. I just haven’t written anything on them yet. Simultaneously, I want to leave and not, desperately, at the same time.

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