Nobody Knows Where You Are
this afternoon i walked by the green river
then up behind the old naval college
to Blackheath. the good photographers
come to the heath this time of year
to catch the fog on its slow parade.
plenty of evenings i have been swallowed
into this fog and had to listen my way
toward the road. four years ago,
mad with your disappearance,
soused up on rum, i came to the fog
to become lost too. perhaps i thought
in the lost place i could find you
and rub rum into your gums
and place your cold hands
into my armpits until i could feel
a flutter that was more than my heart.
nobody knows where you are.
how often does that occur to you?
i think the idea of all the people
who love you getting drunk and lost
and drunk and lost in fog, in sun, in sleep,
in rain, must excite you in some small way-
like a mischievous wish under the hood
of a solemn prayer. it will only be
when i am lost forever that i will find you.
i’ll be old and afraid of nothing then
& you will still be beautiful in the shirt
you left by the green river.
Eugene O’Hare was born in Ireland. His plays are published by Methuen. Recent poems have featured in Crossways, Fortnight, The Galway Review, and as a news piece in The Irish News. He lives in London.