Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Getaway

On the bed

a suitcase empty
but still open.

The room key's

ball and chain.
Your nightdress.

His passport

handed back

too quickly at the desk.

Look at him
and tell me

do you recognise this man?


Your heart is beating

behind bars.The blinds are down.

That hammering

is neither wind nor rain

but somebody wants in.

He waits outside.
A fine mist

shrouds his face.

You call him by a name

already lost

so who is it that comes?


Between the pillow

and his head

an understanding.

Between the mattress
and your thigh
a sheet of ice.

Between his nakedness

and body heat
an absence.

Between your hunger

and his appetite

a shadow line.


The car you planned

to leave in

is unregistered.

Its ignition's tick
a flint
that will not catch.

The road ahead

has narrowed

to a vanishing perspective.

The way you came

without him

takes you home.
– John Mole

I found this poem in a back issue of the Times Literary Supplement (September 18, 2009) from among a stack of them given to me over the Christmas break by a friend. These words insistently conjure up the face of Lana Turner for me even though she is not named.