By Carol Ann Duffy
I drop the dying year behind me like a shawl
and let it fall. The urgent fireworks fling themselves
against the night, flowers of desire, love’s fervency.
Out of the space around me, standing here, I shape
your absent body against mine. You touch me as the giving air.
Most far, most near, your arms are darkness, holding me,
so I lean back, lip-read the heavens talking on in light,
syllabic stars. I see, at last, they pray at us. Your breath
is midnight’s, living, on my skin, across the miles between us,
fields and motorways and towns, the million lit-up little homes.
This love we have, grief in reverse, full rhyme, wrong place,
wrong time, sweet work for hands, the heart’s vocation, flares
to guide the new year in, the days and nights far out upon the sky’s
dark sea. Your mouth is snow now on my lips, cool, intimate, first kiss,
a vow. Time falls and falls through endless space, to when we are.