Saturday, 6 February 2016

How To Love

How to
The words did not fit
Like the milk curled at the lip of cup
Of tea I sipped on the library steps
Doors closed but lights within
It was a question asked enough

Over the aisles, the lone attendant
Recommending the self-help corner
The same who types the input
How To’
Into the computer
Nothing other

Than the occasional volume
With well-thumbed spine
Comes up
A saga of shame or the old page-turner
I know I’ll bring myself to find
And see the coffee stains
On the inside cover
Another evening
Another life.

How to the concrete
A thigh can soften
Almost like submission
The steps form a sheet.
For the month is February
And the books promise passion

I wonder at each underlined section
Folded corers, scored crease.

For paper is worn by the fingers
In their old kind of confession
The nail-marks like a shudder
The pale parts like a brine
Of tears that have fallen
From some man or woman
How to
Love, find, focus, see
First given by confession
Then written in lines

How to
Like a library broken
I know the stories

Yet still wait for the keys.