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These are yesterday's words.
They might bear witness to the suicide
who in a moment of pique
falls from the lattice of the bridge,
mouthing the names
of those who would assemble
to whisper sweet goodbyes.

Or, maybe still, these words could hold down tales
of lovers whose only mistake was to liken
ordinary apprehensions to love,
heartbeat following heartbeat
until the good sound deafens
until the good sound puts to sleep.
But these are yesterday's words

dragged across the page
like the furies of devils who cannot wait.
The seconds of the day annihilate:
they burn embers of darkness into the skin,
emptying the cold mornings and evenings
of mercy, the one last glory in a world
where glory is missing, left precious

in the opened eye of daylight.
Such words do not matter,
they are old and senseless as spent fire,
drawing portraits of a silence only imagined,
only just begun. And if it doesn't end
this way then something else instead, the deliberate
evening, the foul moon brewing and the casual act

of forgetfulness addressing everything,
then everything falling into dark,
this poem slit from ear to ear.

John Cornwall

If you've any comments on his poem, John Cornwall will be glad to hear from you.