What I Remember of The Wars

A poster on a pillar
fixed with white, runny paste
gives the stolid, soldiering face
the milk-white translucent veneer
of a blind eye, a foggy pupil,
sightless in soreness, remembering stoically
day-blue skies of vivid technicolour:
visions of years cruelly torn away
by twentieth-century jingles. The party line. Who we were, 
unspoken in the lime-bowers
of our imagined intensity, the fantasy
of two hearts open, spine-cracked,
read. Your fingers trailing lightly over the leaflets
of my guts. Later, your face turned away, aged impossibly,
hardening like the soldiers' 
crusted with glue.

It doesn't come back, the lines are saying,
like the glory
of the raping SS youth,
mind empty in orgasm,
pale, quivering cock
between the thighs of a grimacing Dutch spinster
who gazes out a splintered spidered glass
and sees the first snows of late November
quietly filling the streets
like lace. Or, rather,
a cab waiting outside a theatre, in Moscow,
wheels knee-deep in drifts, idling exhaust for a couple long
frozen in unspoken meter
and the buzzing mid-afternoon pint 
bringing on its cloudy, human sleep.
We who are fading photographs, sepia prints of loss, what I remember,
what I
remember:

A woman can be alone, and not lonely,
alone, and not hardened, still soft,
wet, an open eye,
on a soldier's face, post on a pillar,
dreaming of things unseen but remembered
imperfectly.

Spencer Gordon