Please don’t ask me
“How do you feel?”
In the garden of how I feel
but tears and sighs and bitter aloes.
I cannot speak
it swells inside me, fungating tumour,
choking words and ulcerating thoughts.
In the garden
of how I feel,
there is no light; sunken corner
of mind’s eye,
knotted stems writhe and mould; torn out of earth,
the mandrakes scream;
rustle angrily as rats tunnel through,
dragging tails and leaving stench of death
in her garden
lily and roses used to grow.
of absence displaces memory.
Past and present,
nothing looks nor feels the same to me
that once was seen and felt by her, too.
Please don’t tell me,
“you must move on”-
fresh amputee crawling towards
a closed door,
my only way out through catacombs.
the wild and tender flowers that she loved,
colours breaking heart of stone and clay,
ancient arts of sweet disorder,
patterns swaying with summer stems
like her the most while having little,
look – she’s climbed to the highest branch again –
she stands, laughing in the dappled light.
Written after seeing a photograph of a woman in a garden