The Black Dog

Outside, Saturday night slips from The Black Dog with reluctance.
The blossomed moon, her stars dank
with interrogation of those full-aled
and promissory as gods, the awful
hush of astonishment.

And those whose Guinness eyes do not focus
rightly on pavements or roads hang on for dear
life to soul-mates whose only intent is the chippy,
egg-fried rice and chips to fasten the night into
oblivion as if that was the only thing to do.

I was there, once, with you, Blue Curacao
rattling in my belly with the obvious delight
of passion, with the secret of eternal life

that I passed to you that night you decided
to go clear.  Did you ever go clear?
I cannot imagine that now as I stoop
in candle-light writing these words
whose only bribe to the imagination

is the poor relation of love, The Black Dog,
the blossomed moon, the measured stars
and you there on a Saturday night with someone
new as I walk past and engage glances
that somehow tarnish the flesh as if pleasure
was the crux of torture that came about without
thought or any notion of surrender,

this the sweetness of what there ever was
and what will ever be as I close my eyes
and wander, a troubled look of surprise

wearing thin, my smile cracked to a grin
that mentions names and nothing else,
a failed glitter, this the silence
of an astounded soul bleeding into the arena
of evening.

John Cornwall

If you've any comments on this poem, John Cornwall would be pleased to hear from you.