SymphonyI dreamed of you last night.
I dreamed of your pale skin,
your clenched fists,
your wide, stunned eyes;
the perfect teeth lining your open mouth.
There was a man I knew, in the trenches,
who thought death was beautiful.
Saw Mozart in the massacres,
Desgas in the destruction.
Used to call the twisted faces of the dead
the ones Picasso never drew.
I think we pretended to be disgusted, but really
we were envious:
all we saw was horror.
I dreamed of you last night.
How you looked when I met you:
eyes I could finally see the whites of.
I don't remember their color.
My friend in the trenches posited
that to destroy is to create:
that to kill is a man's magnum opus,
his most masterful work.
If that's so, I suppose you were
And in my dream, I heard your cry,
like a horn solo;
saw the color leave your face,
like paint chased by water;
heard the crack of my gun,
saw the symphony of your blood
sprayed across the ground
in glorious carmine.
I broke the paperweight today.
The one that you gave me, before you left for good.
I remember thinking, at the time, that it was a pretty lousy gift
for all the things I'd given you.
The painful, sleepless nights,
the shattered feelings and
The silent reception of small, sharp words
like slivers of glass in my skin,
the times you were hurting so bad yourself
you took it out on me.
You tore me up, wore me down,
threw me out, then walked away
leaving me with this lump of glass and paint (now shattered)
like a talisman to protect me, in the future
against people like you.
like these shards of glass on my floor,
I find you in unexpected places.
When I'm walking barefoot through the room
when I'm going through old photographs,
when I'm trawling through my memories,
I accidentally step-
and I have to remind myself that I'll never see you again,
or have to deal with you again,
and I feel that bittersweet mix of relief and sadness,