A Misremembered Lyric
A misremembered lyric: a soft catch of its song
whirrs in my throat. ‘Something’s gotta hold of my heart
tearing my’ soul and my conscience apart, long after
presence is clean gone and leaves unfurnished no
shadow. Rain lyrics. Yes, then the rain lyrics fall.
I don’t want absence to be this beautiful.
It shouldn’t be; in fact I know it wasn’t, while
‘everything that consoles is false’ is off the point –
you get no consolation anyway until your memory’s
dead; or something never had gotten hold of
your heart in the first place, and that’s the fear thought.
Do shrimps make good mothers? Yes they do.
There is no beauty out of loss; can’t do it –
and once the falling rain starts on the upturned
leaves, and I listen to the rhythm of unhappy pleasure
what I hear is bossy death telling me which way to
go, what I see is a pool with an eye in it. Still let
me know. Looking for a brand-new start. Oh and never
notice yourself ever. As in life you don’t.
from Selected Poems (Picador, 2019), © Denise Riley 2000, 2019, used by permission of the author and the publisher