on the habits and private rites of the married Wordsworths
William and Dorothy Wordsworth
had been known to lie on the ground and imagine
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 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.