Ode To R.

You would be 41 now.
We arrived at similar times
On a similar watch.
You would be married,
Three children, three
Boys. Brown fronds,
Your brown eyes
Instilled in them like
Virtues, like topaz,
Your voice as molten
And sweet as caramel.
How quickly they grow
Your grandparents who died
And who no one knows
Or attends to their
Weathered gravestones
Would have said,
As everyone does say,
From time to time
As they gave the boys sweets
And ruffled their hair.
To where did your pride go?

You died on your own
In a flat far from home
In May 2000 or so.
Few remember, but I do,
Although I cannot know
How your mother
Outlived her pain, or
How bright comets
Orbiting suns
Could sometimes
Simply disappear,
Even as their fiery tails
Within our charts had grown.

So much happens of course
In twenty unlived years.
All the times we could hold dear,
All the good that went wrong.

I’d have gently, soothingly,
Removed syringes from
Your arms while I sang a
Song from our childhoods
And stroked your matted hair,
Unpicked you from
Your foetal position
Before the rigor took hold,
And longed for the bruises
Before they became lines
To go. Intravenous,
You and me, yes,
Cradled in a room in a town
No one knows, where my
Penitence is life, and the
Possibilities of you
Remain unknown.