You placed yellow roses by the window, then,
leaning forwards, began combing your red hair;
perhaps you were crying.
To make the distance less I turned away
and faced you across the earth’s circumference.
The windowpane turns black:
across its flawed glass suddenly your image
runs on mine.
I stare at the vase until yellow
is no longer a colour, nor roses flowers.
from Histories Of Desire (Bloodaxe, 1995), © Ron Butlin 1995, used by permission of the author