Let us walk to the waterfall before lunch
and sail the paper boats we made yesterday;
let us not put away that afternoon of losses
when the August sunshine belted onto the Kerry slate roof
and cooked the lichen to fine, sallow dust.
From out of nowhere, I saw you shatter
the blank white page to an angle
and all my flat earth certitudes fell away,
as any waterfall collapses into its pool.
You see, I wanted to believe more than you thought,
but the plain fact of how your fingers
worked the terrible geometries into being
frightened me, the way a child is frightened
by death without knowing why.
This, though, was a coming into the world.
It had not occurred to me to think
you would know how to do such a thing.
You showed me the proper way of it
and so you are changed to me and I to you,
the way that creases remain always
in a sheet of paper that has once been folded.
by John Stammers
from Stolen Love Behaviour
publisher: Picador, 2005