When He Left You

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When He Left You

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If ever a dead man

blew kisses from the grave

it is now   now that the leaves

wilt, that you close the cupboard doors

and answer with silence

the tiny husk of sweetness swallowed.

A day by the hill pulsing with thirst.

The mirror hanging. You look, crying out.

But always you rock

decomposing, fake,

always a lunar night in your navel

tunnelling deep into your pit.

By chance you knife the python,

shoot bullets into the metal floor

desperate for escape,

desperate for the dream to love you

the way you, with your blood and poetry

love, love.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “JVC Poetry Newsletter Volume 1, Number 7” March 1990

Published under the pseudonym “Jocelyn Kain” aka Allison Grayhurst

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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