Although they try to synchronise their lives,
time still keeps slipping past; each dinner date
will find him running ‘fashionably’ late,
and she’ll be long since gone when he arrives.
Too late, too slow. She guessed they couldn’t last,
but reconciles the hours they never spent
by quoting Einstein’s thought-experiment
to prove that living long means living fast.
So now he imagines their final night
heavy with heat and a lost romance,
where she, once more, has vanished without trace:
she, blazing away on her beam of light
untroubled, except for a backward glance
to track the wrinkles ploughing through his face.
- Tim Kendall
I dream you, and you come to me
intact, in focus, indiscreet, mouthing
the sweetest lies as if we cared.
As if, in fact, we might begin again
with needle-tracks and scratches down your arms
that might have told in drunken hieroglyphs
how heavy-shouldered I pick my way
through a night of empty forecourts,
back to the etceteras of passion:
the obligatory pathos of discarded shoes,
the glass of water juddering by the bed,
the face my heavenly eyes avoid.
—Tim Kendall, “Hieroglyphs”