Thursday, March 13, 2014

Deux Hommes

Inspired by this iconic Vogue photo, the one I can't seem to find anywhere.

Two men sitting alone
On a surfboard, rocking gently
In the endless waves.
The flat white surface is
Like paper in the midst of all that ink,
Soaking, drying, soaking, drying,
The continual blotting of a monstrous hand.
“I’m trying my best here,”
He says, “My very best, I’m doing all I can,
You know that, don’t you?”
And the other man says,
“I don’t believe you.”
Very strangely, under the influence
Of the soporific sea, the ink fumes,
the blinding layer of white laid like a feather
On a granite sea,
The other man shrinks and shudders.
His voice is that of a little girl.
“Why won’t you believe me? It’s all I can do…”
Trails off, hitches, begins to sob.
He sits there alone in the middle of so much sea,
Bawling his heart out.
Always one for dramatics.
The other man just looks out to the broad line
Of the perfectly flat horizon, watches storm clouds
Well and lisp on the edge of that line,
A millimeter of gold showing beneath,
Though there's only bronze water where they sit.
The other neither looks nor sees.
As he sits there, gently crying,
The other man takes his hand
And sort of gently pushes him into the water,
Frigid as a winter night’s decay.
He splutters, flounders, but never stops crying,
Just sinks, bewildered, and somewhat resigned.
He knew somewhere that he never was going to come back.
The other man
Sits alone on the surfboard, watches the clouds
Swell, darken, poise on the edge of release
And spill over into the endless sea.

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