ARTicle Magazine

Love Comes Back

10 July 2016

A poem from Hera Lindsay Bird's debut collection.

Hera Lindsay Bird

Image: Russell Kleyn

Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25), released Thursday 14 July.

Like your father,

twenty years later with the packet of cigarettes he went out for 

Like Monday but this is the nineteenth century 

& you’re a monied aristocrat with no conception of the working week 

Like a haunted board game 

pried from the rubble of an archaeological dig site 

You roll the dice & bats come flooding out your heart 

like molten grappling hooks 

your resolve weakening... 

like the cord of an antique disco ball... 

Love like the recurring decimal of some huge, indivisible number 

or a well thrown boomerang 

coming to rest in the soft curve of your hand 

Love comes back... 

like a murderer returning to the scene of the crime... 

or not returning... 

yet still the crime remains... 

like love... 

observed or unobserved... 

written in blood on the walls of some ancient civilisation 

in an idiom so old 

we have no contemporary vernacular equivalent 

Love like Windows 95 

The greatest, most user-friendly Windows of them all 

Those four little panes of light 

Like the stained glass of an ancient church 

vibrating in the sunlit rubble 

of the twentieth century 

Your face comes floating up in my crystal ball...

The lights come on at the bottom of the ocean 

& here we are alone again... 

Late November 

we ride the black escalator of the mountain 

& emerge into the altitude of our last year 

The rabbit in the grass gives us something wild to aim for 

It twists into spring like a living bell 

I have to be here always telling you that 

no matter how far I travel beyond you 

love will stay tethered 

like an evil kite I want to always reel back in 

As if we could just turn and wade back 

through the ghost of some ancient season 

or wake each morning in the heat of a vanished life 

Love comes back 

from where it’s never gone ... It was here the whole time 

like a genetic anomaly waiting to reveal itself 

Like spring at the museum, after centuries of silence 

the bronze wings of gladiator helmets trembling in their sockets... 

Grecian urns sprouting new leaves... 

Love like a hand from the grave 

trembling up into the sunlight of the credit sequence 

the names of the dead 

pouring down the screen 

like cool spring rain

Hera Lindsay Bird book cover

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