Friday, September 6, 2013

At the Sex Frontier. Fiona Sampson

At the Sex Frontier

                                   […] the holy show
that models how the world should be
and could be, shared, glittering in near focus.
                                               - Les Murray

On a warm evening
breath and body-moisture
steam the glass,
making what should be brilliantly clear
mysterious –
bright as a blur
of spoiled film.

But here I am, in Arrivals,
pressing my hand on the pane
to greet you.
          When I take it away –
an archipelago of dots
clear as landing lights on the white surface;              
and something I know must be you                                 
shifting in them –           
sleeve, eyebrow, wink of a button.

…Imaginary noir.  Behind steam
you seem an emanation –
              of the density of walls, doors,
surveillance cameras;
precipitated along corridors                                              
with thunderclap footsteps and slams.
Meanwhile, water sets itself down
on all convenient glass,
such as this pane:
stitch by plump stitch
tacking together hot
                              and cold –
which can’t simply be pleated
        into each other
as if this were that

and my finger-holes spread and weep
in glittery water-mesh
which, capturing a world or two,
hooks them back
            from this floodlit foyer.

Obscurely beyond,
you’re waiting for a kiss –
                                         semblable, frère –
but when I search the glass
I don’t feel you.  Only damp mineral shine, 
dissolving cold.
                          And yes, it’s odd
to reach across, cuff in fist,
as if into dream –
making smears
which fade like Döppler notes –

towards where you seem
   to hang
in the window’s two-way mirror;
an icon on a screen
raising your hand to answer me.

But when, finally, your face
comes puckering up, the reverse of mine –
so that I lean
        across the shiny space between us,
towards the image of me
floating in you
like a palimpsest –

when I raise the banner of my lip-sticked mouth –

it’s over a strange land,
smudged with blue and silver light.

© Fiona Sampson

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