Clare Hornsby



home: poetry

 

Torcello

I remember us arriving both smiling from the speedboat -
the wincing at the wind and viewing the churches
At an angle, as balanced on rafts, pitching with the waves.
Stumbling around the tiny deck for views
Dodging spray, hair across my mouth and eyes
Blind in happiness.

Then the silent island, all tourists gone home and still hot sun
And midges under the bench where I rubbed the sore places
On my feet from my best red shoes
And submitted to photograph after photograph
Knowing that the wind and the sun and the silk dress and
Torcello
Had worked an obvious magic.

Later, up came the moon in the hot garden and you were sad
My past in that place came back to me
My baby girl playing in the gravel
An unhappy anniversary long ago with nothing more to share.

Then back to Venice. Full moon. Full speed.
Leaning hard against the cabin roof and your shoulder
We laughed and it was true
Nothing was ever so wonderful ever.
Then I knew - now is the time
Now or never is the time for us to say it
And I waited, scared, but no words came.

We fought through the night and all next day
Until peace returned with our exhaustion.
It has always been like this, between the two of us.
So no more. No more Torcello.
There is no magic strong enough.