Fortuna’s Syllables

I can still hear our voices howl against

The emptiness below us.

Looking at the houses in front of us

And how they seemed like gravesides.

We knew that we would go back to half measures.

And everything rustling within us would be

Crushed and disappear through the gaze of others.


We spread our arms like rooftops, Gabriel’s wings,

And the notes within our mouths sounded invincible,

Irresistible. We never knew how reversible we were.

Our spines crackling against one another we climbed

Over every single cloud and fell in unison.

I recognised every painting of women in her postures.


We blossomed in the nudes of nature.

We had no idea that dust was upon us.

Even then, the bones started breaking,

The tongues out of control, the rancorous gut,

All that love, the monstrous heads and fires, her skin

And mine, the disentangling opposites

That survive and dissolve.


“Portrait of Sonia” by Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)

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