Chris Quinn

Dublin, January 30, 1981
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Cut flowers


Would that you and I were but plastic waste
Orbiting each other adrift in the sea
Ones for whom decay had acquired no taste
Forever circling like leaves in brine tea

Amidst our peers, seaborne clots of rubbish
Alongside others littering the foam
Tended garden of resilient salt trash
Gayly dancing eternally in our home

Our purpose served, discarded and left free
Ignored and outside of what is human
Delight together, toxic motes of glee
Wash up intertwined on pristine white sand

We comingle our poisons as one
Inseparable when all things are done


The long slow slumber of death by your side
We’d smile, amused, to be nourishing worms
Under the earth together we could hide
Beyond former cares while the world still turns

Hand in withered hand you’d remain my queen
Your eyeless smile beautiful as ever
Death or lack could never change what it means
Our joy could grow, free from life’s endeavour

Our bones crumbled intertwined in the dirt
Closer to you than I could hope in life
Forgiven, forgotten, beyond all hurt
Huddled together, rotting beyond strife

Without obligation or drive to create
Free to love cherish and appreciate

Instead I am myself and you are you
What small distance there is I cannot cross
Anger and grief can pass between us two
And many of our days are filled with loss

But I count my joys by the breaths you take
My life hang by the hairs framing your face
Your absence fills me with bittersweet ache
By your side should forever be my place

We don't have aeons but just a short time
So I'll cherish every line showing care
Live all the seconds that are yours and mine
Grateful for the chance just to be there

Eventually to be sundered, to part
Yet ne'er be alone, no distance twixt our hearts
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