Here I thought it was a warm, bright thing
A slant of sun on a still life
The rehearsed embrace of a spotlight
A curl of cat under a table lamp
Something lit and framed and smiling.
Punctuated by unnoticed beads of perspiration.
But long love is a runny muddy thing
It fills eyes and nostrils,
Is coughed up and sputtered.
Its dead leaves catch in our hair
Fly into mouths like papery tongues.
It stains fingertips, and weighs down footprints.
And it is also that dark moment before truth.
The revelation dreamed before waking.
Unknowable and yet understood.
A kiss as familiar as a returned afternoon,
As false as always, as true as perhaps.
It is the curiosity in what happens next,
A continual reinvention of stories. It is the absence of never.
Ian Iqbal Rashid
1 November 2018