Poetry: Impression | clivejames.com
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There you are in the headlights
on that January late-afternoon in the park.
You are on one leg scraping the dogshit
from your shoe, the collar of your big grey coat up
and leant back against the trunk of the plane tree
to steady yourself.
I have put on my lights so you can see
what you are doing.
You simply noticed the smell
and stepped back out of the car to remedy it
like a good mother must have done
many times with the kids.
These tender expertises are foreign to me.
How unlike the usual sort of date
where neither one of you wants to say anything
about those quotidian embarrassments;
I feel I could fart in front of you
and you would just say
Silly boy, or something wonderful.
I can't bear how beautiful you are there,
like a Degas ballerina,
still scraping, with the occasional grin
to let me know how you're getting on.
This picture at least, is all mine
and, for the moment, entirely licit—
look at your smile, doesn't it shine!—
and the evening is falling.