Budapest

Made up for two
I intervene
taking blankets to the living room;
that grey area that grows
between us.

My dog bed
is wet through
from hot tea and
we clasp chairs close to our chests
like the children you
categorically don’t want
and I do.

We laugh, eyes
on the ground that is temporarily ours;
mine wet, my belly loud
and insincere, chest puffed out
and, catching myself,
I breathe out –
the sound a soft whistle through
gapped teeth. Mine.

On the other side
of the partition door
you Buda, me Pest,
you sleep
your cough, a bark in the darkness
and I catch you
(ear to wall)
calling out across the Danube.

Autumn # 4

Bringing with each fresh glance
new unions of the same rusted colours
conkers and maple seeds, spinning
helicopters;
the golden Autumn of my first year
here had returned
and with it leaves
that thinned
the rimless blue skies
crunching underfoot
Summer’s spilled sunshine:
I ran now, glad.

Had we remained as we were
stoned again in the park
marooned, us two
alone in the dark;
we watched the moon, a soft face
on the folding paper lake
our hands heavy and still on the tracks:
would the Autumn
be so inclined as Summer
was obliging?
To wet skin on cold sand
leaning in, leaning back.

Munich

We slept in Poets’ Corner
under trees whose leaves
winked and turned
in the late afternoon light.
And I wrote nothing, despite
the apparent inspiration,
the grass, in squares, too business-like
for poetry.
Or mine, at least.
Complete and completed
curled around our bags
our hair intermingled, as asleep,
head-to-head on the green
we drifted;
lost and still amid the fray of the day.
Consumed in new ways
by the city around us
so different from ours
so smart
and humourless
dressed for dinner at all times
in soft suede shoes,
we were arrested by wealth and,
opaque as whole milk,
we walked.