V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





This is the only way I can paint you, some black
keys and some white, and fingers that are much too
clumsy . . .

                                           —Ray Milland
                                           The Uninvited

The room is still overfilled with our
lovemaking, or those evenings where you slept
against me while I watched the willpower
of love reconcile itself from beyond death,
in an old Ray Milland movie
in glorious black and white.  I guess we saw
ourselves in them because of their history,
or age difference, or the way their lives were flawed.

Maybe it was a mistake to keep the house
with the same rooms, with the same spiraling
staircase that I climb in my dreams,
early hours with ghosts weeping, the hours
about nothing but re-reading our serenades,
the mystery of diffused light that looks like you.

© by Barry Ballard


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