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  • Monique Marani

on the habits and private rites of the married Wordsworths


William and Dorothy Wordsworth

had been known to lie on the ground and imagine

their bodies

beside one another in the grave.

awaiting guests departure

alone in the tea room

at the first summer rain

exchanging a glance and

running and laughing at the hearts clamour

to clamber upon climbing gates

stepping through mud, through the blur and dream of

hill upon hill of startling oak green

in the hearts of woods or wide lonely moors

to surprise the rabbits with their feet, the pure beauty by offer of beetles

and lillies

and dead leaves

and still pools

without any care whatever what human beings thought of them.

in the distance the two o’clock Southbound goes by

calling out like a hurried trombone

and leaving their faint breath in the silence after;

tanged in the wreath of their bodies’ dancing

a perfect song written in the tumbling seconds,

enough time to forget a beginning and end:

a Me and a You.

everything else remained the same:

the soil and all of its corners

lying wet and naked in the dark.

their lips very close

and the sun’s wet braid

fallen across the nape of the forest.

they are exchanging life for touch:

a weak, uncertain currency.

they are exchanging life for touch

encased in the clean bark of the other

still with lavender’s scent caught in the rivulets of their fingers

eyes closed; pale, white as fields flooded with cotton

and adrift through the wavering rushes:

Do you love me enough so that may be nothing with you?

Do you love me stripped of everything that might be lost, for only things that I will have for ever? tu fui, ego eris.

I was what you are. I am what you will be.

closing their eyes there is a silent world.

upon a little ceremony which had no audience

there was but the crack of branches over their heads


Monique Marani is an emerging multi-disciplinary artist and poet from Melbourne, Australia, whose poetry has previously been published in Allegory Ridge, FrockUp Magazine and Poetica Christi Press. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the Lane Cove National Literary Award.

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