In Bangalore

Once upon a time in Bangalore

I lived in a Palace, and from there

I could see a world I would

never know. The rules of the road

we’re indicative. The lives of

the herd were imperative.

A greeting was a meeting

of hearts and minds and souls,

of simplicity and complicity

in the life and love we all share.

There is no brighter beauty

than the darkness of their hair,

or the brown-eyed brilliance

of the faces I saw there.

Outside in, I saw the thing

that makes me love them still.

It is the will to be a friend

until the end of time.

I have never known

a sweeter people

in all my life.

A Mystery

When I kissed you as you left

today, we were as close as we could get

and yet we were still indistinct

to each other, from one another, thinking

different things together, separating.

We had been so close that what was on you

was now on me. I took your scent, tasted it,

carried it on my lips, the essence of you

with me still, in your absence. We had

been so close but still I could not know

what was in your mind, or in your heart.

We believe we know, we coupled folk, we

long-time lovers and lifers together, but

it isn’t true. We never do. I don’t know you,

you don’t know me.

Perhaps that is as it should be.

This may be true for all the others,

for all the unknown, untouched,

untold lovers.

What we all know, if nothing else:

we are a mystery to ourselves.

No Other

Loving you

Is hard to do

I’m not an easy lover

But loving you

Is easy too

For me there is

No other

The Orphans

A man I met on holiday

told me once the story

of how he never met his mother.

She was blown to blitz

in the same old war that

his father fell for.

Their only child, he’d been

sent away to stay in a place

full of strangers, with dangers

of its own. He had known

no relative love or tenderness,

just the kindness of strangers.

He smiled unceasingly.

The woman he’d wed, an orphan

like him, said they were paired,

that they cared for each other,

sister and brother as much

as lovers. She grinned without end

at her partner, her friend.

I thought of them today when

I heard the distaste in the bray

of your voice. The orphans had

found each other, each chosen

the other and chosen to be happy

together. You and I came together,

we were never the chosen.

We do not like the same,

we are unlike each other

and like one another now and then.

If we too were orphans, I wonder

often if you would be better

widowed.