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Looking Through the Dark Glass

Deepsouth v.6.n.1 (Winter 2000)
Copyright (c) 2000
by Mark Pirie.
A Poem by Mark Pirie
  All rights reserved.


Looking Through the Dark Glass    for Louis Johnson (1924-88)

is the person in the next room who won't look you in the eye at dinner time.
Instead they leave with another person, possibly a loved one.
They go back to god knows where and hold each other tight till dawn.
And then, when you half expect it, they'll return to you,
new, revitalized, somehow feeling much better than you.

is the lover who purports to love you, for at least a moment.
They tell you nothing of much importance and continue to do
what others do best: lie. They often emerge at night, at strange hours, from the back seats
of cars, movie theatres and bars. They are dressed exquisitely and startle the eyes.
Yet afterwards in the mornings, admiring your candour, they'll look at you
with such surprise, as if you'd just whispered a devotion much greater than they'd ever imagined.

is the person filled with desire who lusts after another with
such fondness you can only laugh. They move from place to place,
they hope to steal the other's heart. Yet when they finally 'catch up',
they fail to notice how the other is already changing, entering a new heart.

Mark Pirie was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1974. His publications include the anthology The NeXt Wave (University of Otago Press) and a book of poems Shoot (Sudden Valley Press, Christchurch). He is currently writing a monograph on Wellington poet, Louis Johnson at the University of Otago..