Vert by Katie O'Flynn

Brushing shoulders with the unburst shell of a stranger
Where once the cracks ceased to be cracks
Where pages dangled from loved-through seams
But no more of that - the page is turned on that eve
And you never read a word, and the words do not exist
And I am a face and you are a face
Transient template of our race
I have never known you, I know, I must never know you again
Merriment and joie de vivre and mangled foreign-ese
We have barred the door and we'll scream aloud
We'll watch with spite as the world is drowned
Or no, with spite, we shall not watch at all
How shall we return its tortures?
Or do we care at all?
We decided not to
So shed coats
And moult
Now at last the curtain falls
The awnings secure - are you sure you checked?
And we shatter alive, we chatter a-mad
Secretly glorious, secretly sad
We cannot hear shared secrets for the din
But the patchwork throng is known by heart
Our cued spontaneity, our dosed ecstasy
We'll be sisters and lovers, arms and souls intertwined
Tomorrow to blame "impropriety" on the wine
Soul candles merged, heartmoment submerged
Till we bleed with the sky and die till we live again
Drawn out screaming as it was before
That was beyond a lifetime ago
And we've long reverted to chrysalides.
I avert my eyes for the pain your mirror move deals
And we forget, we flitter, flicker, flutter adaze.
But for a moment I knew you, and I saw you shine
And that mayfly-you will always be mine
I dare not ask your name now
Fearing its inadequacy, or so I'll tell myself
With the same frenzy that I tell myself I knew you at all

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