Sunday 28 July 2019

Henrik Nordbrandt: 'Our love is like Byzantium'

Our love is like Byzantium

Our love is like Byzantium
must have been like
that final evening. There must have been
I imagine
a glow over the faces
of those who crowded in the streets
or stood in small groups
on street corners and squares
talking in subdued voices
it must have been reminiscent
of the glow your face has
when you stroke your hair back from it
and look at me.

I imagine they did not speak
very much, and of quite
indifferent matters,
that they attempted to speak
and came to a halt
without having said what they wanted to
and tried once again
and gave up once again
and looked at each other
and looked down.

Very old icons, for example,
have that glow about them
like the glow of a fire in a burning town
 or the glow approaching death
leaves on photographs of those who died early
in the memory of those left behind.

When I turn towards you
in bed, I have the feeling
of entering a church
that was destroyed by fire
long ago
and where only the darkness in the icons’ eyes
still remains
full of the flames that obliterated them.

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