When was the last time that you laughed?
I said this as I gripped her shoulders —
arms like lightning rods —
a flashing grounded earthing
mass of spark-conduction
epic mirthing squads.
She looked at me with jesters in her eyes
reflected from my playful tonely features
(I think my question left her
“The truth please”, said the joker
with an unusually serious face.
“I’m broken”, said the whisper
from her normal speaking place.
With that, my arms began to shake
(her shoulders too)
but which ones were the first
I can’t say that I knew.
I laughed today, she sighed,
by looking in the mirror
at my face.
There was no trace of irony
in what she said;
but when I heard those words
I wished I’d heard
some other ones instead.
My lightning rods, now glowing like the sun
enveloping her sobbing chest
with balmful megatons, said:
We’re just like two peas in a pod.
And in the blaze I heard a sound
like Hand your heartache to the fire
and then you’ll have your rest.
The burdens of this world aren’t yours;
it’s time to convalesce
your mangled love
your anguished soul
your pulvered dreams
your doomsday-tarnished themes.
For when I have you whole
you’ll laugh much more for long —
not in the mirror at yourself
but in the pocketfuls of coloured shells
which on your bed you’ll find
when I have gone.
© Alan Morrison, 2013