A poem by Max Wallis

12th September 2014

We meet in Palais de Tokyo to say goodbye. The halls:
trachea we can breathe through; the exit,
a larynx, saying words we can't.

It is the moment we shrivel up. Pruned lips
I no longer want to kiss, eyes wide with white. I blink,
turn. Inside me is midnight. I succumb

to forgetting: of you hiding your Corona
beneath the Monoprix sign, pre-Dior;
that night of flicking cigarettes off the Pont de l'Alma

scattered across a reflection of stars, you pointing out
those mirrored Gods. And that halfway bed, then jostling with a combat of noise -
now void.

We struggle in the act of leaving.
Your arms shaking as you hug me.
My body an inverted bulb.

You let go, glance at those four-same shoes, the back. "Know this: I loved you."
And I tell you to stop using Hollywood phrases.

"Tell me you hate me. Tell me you cannot bear
to see my name on a phone's screen." You pause.
I fall. "But I don't. I can."


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