DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY THROUGH A VEIL OF TEARS
Not a valley exactly, more the morose plains of south London,
the snow masked our way and the tears that coursed your face constant,
unstemmed, unremarked through your ache of missing her missing her
made everything muted, padded, watery-white, made this life as nothing,
which left us art. The lights were necessarily dim, the glass present if non-reflective,
so we were unable to see just how it was done, were there pencil marks?
Your swimming vision may have added something to the conviction,
and I, too brimful of you and your lack of her, felt grateful just to believe in it.
When we stepped from the carefully measured warmth back into January air
to find our tracks covered completely, nothing behind us, the road ahead a blank,
the engine cold, we shivered together. Then pulling onto the road in those moments
before headlights are needed, I lit a cigarette for you, something else you'd given up.