Quincy Lehr


No ghosts as yet, but just a hint of fever

(the fan’s still in its box) and foreign noise.

A virgin phone squats on its new receiver.

Undusty window sills are bare but ready

for clocks, for brown, anaemic plants, their poise

temporary, fragile and unsteady.

There have been other places, across the river,

or oceans, time zones—other furniture,

with curtains cutting light to just a sliver,

those old apartments populated still

with women whom you recollect as ‘her’.

They haven’t called; you doubt they ever will.

Each lease becomes an act of... not forgetting,

but somehow letting go. Old places live

with different faces in a familiar setting:

lives you’ll never know, but comprehend,

scenes of errors not yours to forgive,

broken hearts no longer yours to mend.

Let there be light!

And in the beginning, there was nothing,

or what there always was, and is, perhaps,

flawed symmetry, as the child was born,

the act of birth the act of replacement

implying obsolescence,

the loss of vigour, blurred sight,

the often-repeated joke,

the punch line like a show in syndication,

the actors long since dead,

floating into the ether of living rooms.

Quincy Lehr © 2010