The summer we left school

Clifton by Francois Krige

Clifton by Francois Krige

The summer we left school 

The summer we left school 
the light had a certain lustre
that we have not seen again.
We still had all our limbs.
The future, a land made of gold,
sloped up into invisibility.
We were unaware of the ground,
still open to the sky. How much
we hurt each other, beating
self against ignorance.

The love we loved then
was the best love.
How much we loved our love.
The music was our music,
better than anything since.
We danced it in a swarm.
It was going to always
keep ascending, up and up,
progress into some nebula,
burst with stars.

The longing of those days cut
deeper into the flesh, blood
was redder, the sea bit colder
into the swimmer’s bones.
Our grief put on clothes and
went walking on the beachfront,
often, at night, meeting
deckhands and saviours.
Our bodies were so dumb and ripe,
naked under everything.

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