Lessons in Love
On Victoria platform, I watched
it break my heart,
ripped it vast, across your face,
to memories surrendering
blood to gravity, briefly,
thought of calling my mother,
but she is on the other side of
this black hole.
And she can’t hear. Or see.
Who is sure where tracing light
really falls, I wonder.
When once shapes a life?
Seeking treasure in the gap, stoically
folded away and six pointed, hidden
places nurturing love, where something
has assembled me.
I tightened round your words,
snailed inside my womb.
The way you glowed, and remembered
how Escher loved worlds, and I
loved eyes, you asked,
how is it, at the age of 33, you’re
still terrified of being a teenage mother?
Why we measure the world
in ratios, indices, borrowed patterns?
I couldn’t help but smile at the way
the geometry of this territory in the
exchange of our hands, and how we laughed
a little, and pulled away.
Whilst love stayed put, waving bravely
from the train.
Playing seems easier than praying;
I reconcile the line in reverse,
hold voyage in armchairs
surrounded by idols, plush,
brass doorknobs, art, sweat,
whilst saluting red wine to the
letters bound inconsolably,
to Dolce, born from the void
for a thing like that. Iterating,
satin, scar(red)-let heart, stuffed.
I can’t bear the beauty of silence, the
cascade of light drops, grazed stiff
receding in the ripple, when the silhouette
window yawns, I tell myself, I tell myself,
all things will die. Those patterns on screen are
reading best what we love most.
I scrabble for A9I9R6
p2r6e12c2i9o8u4s4 w4o8r6d4s4, with all the space they give
and for all their worth, love,
just time sickness. That’s all it is.
We don’t talk about how dizzying,
how fragile its scent, like milk teeth
under pillows, diffusing dreams as we sleep,
hoping someone will craft them
into magic, spells: W.E A.R.E E.N.O.U.G.H.
despite the falls, the clutch at our
hearts, string of wounds trailing,
still want to know: W.E A.R.E E.N.O.U.G.H.
incantations that draw us to full
height, elevate knights into shining stars,
small steps, love, a day – a lifetime,
start with small words: W.E A.R.E E.N.O.U.G.H.
9 Where something has me
9 assembling love, hiding points
6 to nurture the gap, enfolding suffering –
2 we sought treasure in life.
6 I wonder,
12 can we trace the sea to the light?
2 But this black is the other side of the whole.
9 My mother calls
8 the thought to gravity, and
4 blood surrenders. We face our
4 memories, hardly brief
4 kisses, these are after all,
8 vast ripping hearts. Watching
6 victory break on the platform, know it is
4 love repeating, circling, forever so.
4 As above.
The poem Lessons in Love, is a response to the PoetryFilm Paradox event (short film artworks exploring the theme of love) at the Groucho Club, Soho, London in December 2015. With thanks to Zata Banks, the poets and artists and sponsors involved.
Anna Mace is keen to merge the boundaries between text, art, science and performance. She currently contributes to the bookart project, Revolve:R where her poetry has been turned into short films. She has also published poetry for Translation Games, a project exploring literature and the arts. She was resident poet for the National Trust, UK, last summer and her manuscript was recently shortlisted for The Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2015 with Eyewear Publishing, London, UK. Anna Mace lives in Bristol.