You are there (addressed to an absent present)

This is

my longest estrangement from life

or my worst self-absorption,

but there are moments of respite

when I see you..

But did I really see you?

When I sit stoop-shouldered

hunched over a book

and smile at an audacious turn of phrase

or an impertinent image –

you are there.

In negligible moments

of alien haughtiness

when I straighten my shoulders

and walk jauntily down the street

as if the world belongs to me –

you are there.

When the winter sun

deigns to appear,

strikes the grey stone roof opposite

and makes even the grey charmiang –

you are there.

At night

when a sudden blue haze

gives the bare frost-covered trees

along the Seine

their moment of passing glory –

you are there.

In a moment of silent epiphany

when a painting speaks to me

as it would speak to you –

you are there.

When I scrape away

at the accretions of habitual thought

and paint the walls of my mind

with light fresh images –

you are there.

You are there

in so many places

in so many moments of my life…

but I never really see you

and will see you less and less…

Or, will see you in other places

in your moments given to other lives.

I will not see you in my life

yet

you are there.

(from See Paris for me)

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