Already what we say is meaningless
But something more than meaning drives us on,
Some instinct from the dark heart of the past
Strikes out with a viper's terrible tongue.
Our pride is scorched. We smoulder and burn,
Heaping indignities upon the flames
Relentlessly. We slander without reason
And, without justice, apportion blame.
I stumble out of bed and stub my foot.
At once the licking flames flicker and die.
You fuss round with medicaments. A wave
Of caring floods your cooling arm and thigh.
Soft now, your eyes brim with solicitude.
Silence, shaped like a vase, unbroken
As a frozen wave, contains the pain.
Our salamander love endures, awoken,
Persisting even when the vase lies shattered,
When the wave sunders, when the flame flares again.