Thursday, October 13, 2016

Valentine

He's buried there in Whitefriar Street
and they are buried too,
the disappeared,
all the matronly types I fell for
whose looks had something of yours.
I never knew!

There are different tears
from different wellsprings,
ones that only know themselves
why they flow
silent as Marian statues
where the sackcloth urchins
behold miracles in blue and white,
silent as a widower
who dips his fingers in the font
and waits
by the Stations of the Cross.
I drink holy water
from a tin cup on a string,
and try to re-hydrate
the ashes and dust
of sainted ballerinas
and all those harbour girls.

Sleep, and let me sleep with you -
just you and me and the ghost makes three -
with St Valentine in Whitefriar Street.
--
A version of this was published in Staxtes.