First

It's easy to be haunted.                                                                                
This creaking stranger listens
not to Abse's Schubert

but to Emmylou and Gram,
and his own apathetic neutrality
(that was your man's phrase, was it not?)
stands,
just for a moment,
solid
and smug here,
here in this bold-bright
theatre of pasts and darks and presents.

Before the cold indifference fades,
it lets him taste
soft white supermarket chicken,
not the black burnt turkey spat out by the woman
he's sure he, too,
could have loved
with all the passions of nature and need
and cool black clothing,

could have loved at least until -
in his world too -

she opened the door and entered,
head first.

Breathe. It's easy to be haunted: too many precedents,
too many who have come here, done more and are gone.

Yes, it's easy to be haunted.
The soundtrack now is Brel, shrugging joys
and tired hurts
of loving and losing.
Ne me quitte pas, sweetheart.
Science is death and art is life.


So easy, so easy to be haunted.