susan smith nash



a place we come to when lights burn

like my skin under the heat of your eyes –

a place we sit, drink coffee

see the bristles of some unnamable cruelty


I crave, yet hate

that ambiguous mirror;

Your face


answers me at the door,

your smirk another evening’s greeting –


you thrust into my open palms

roses without the flower

bouquets without the power

of scent, of bloom, of promise

just dry, thorny sticks

to tear my heart

like petals long ago stripped by fear


or memories of better days,

a lost bud desiccating under my bed

faded by the sound of my voice, talking in dreams


the technologies of annihilation are multiple

these days, and we, like strangers

sit outside and watch the leafless branches

sway in the night’s sighings –


we drink, smoke, talk about nothing

and everything is all right

fading, slowly, from sight.



(3 may 2001)